Would someone check this out? Not Death and Dying, but the abuse of women?

Since 1997 Dialogue Ireland has been concerned about the abuse of women within the context of Buddhism. We had questions but now we have produced a briefing document produced by a Tibetan Buddhist scholar. This document has been on our site since April of this year.

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/briefing-document-on-sogyal-rinpoche/

However, we now have a number of witnesses who can corroborate the testimony we have in our document. For confidential reasons we did not distribute this information till now. We also brought this to the attention of the Dalai Lama who has been aware of the charges against Sogyal Rimpoche for over a decade. He had as our document outlined suggested that women who had been sexually abused should go to the media. We are suggesting they take it a step further and take it to the police. However, not only has the Dalai Lama’s representative in London for Europe not answered our enquiry, but the Dalai Lama  held meetings in Amsterdam this month with Sogyal. This seems to raise serious questions for the Dalai Lama about his association with Sogyal.

Or another comment, “An excellent piece, DI. Thanks for that. You have raised many important points. I think there is a huge amount of denial within Rigpa concerning Rinpoche’s alleged behaviour. Sadly, I think it is in part a way of thinking common in society..that generally it is the woman’s fault. Also, I think people think that if he did do something his motivation was pure at the time. Because there is a lot of rumour and little fact, and because he tells people it is none of their business what he does in his private life, people let it go.

To my mind the whole thing rests on the matter of fiduciary duty and trust. If this is betrayed, then something is very, very wrong. I doubt anyone objects to sexual liaisons, but when it is with many women and the power imbalance is as great as it is between a student and master/teacher, then it seems to me to be an abuse of power, and benefits no one. Even is some of the women are desiring a sexual relationship with such a teacher, surely it is up to the teacher to maintain boundaries that are in the best interest of the student? When those boundaries don’t exist it all gets very messy.

For the most part, I think a lot of Rigpa students don’t feel it concerns them, and those who do know about it and remain, will not look on the web to see even what the Janice Doe case was about. Students have invested so much and it doesn’t touch them. It hasn’t happened to them. I find it ironic that sexual misconduct is one of the five basic tenets of non-harming, yet when it arises within the Sangha by the teacher then students turn away or dismiss it. If women are being damaged by this then it does matter.”

Earlier this month we raised the question knowing that Sogyal was coming to give a retreat and providing persons the opportunity to make a statement to the Gardai:

Can this go on?

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/can-this-go-on/

This is a comment left on our site: “I don’t know why this continues as I know one person involved who is giving money every month and is totally obsessed with Sogyal Rinpoche and no-one can talk to her.” Or these responses to our earlier document:

“Congratulations Dialogue Ireland. You must have spent many hours on research and writing to produce this item. I have a great deal more hard, corroborated evidence of Sogyal’s sexual depravity, self-indulgence and financial preoccupation.
There are now more than 30 people willing to join forces to make sure that Sogyal is taken out of circulation as a teacher effectively and permanently. I would be grateful if you could email me any further information that comes your way. I am especially interested in women who are willing to testify about their sexual encounters with Sogyal. Their anonymity is guaranteed.”

Then on Saturday the Irish Times a very supportive article on Rigpa’s “Death and Dying,” perspective and its centre in West Cork appeared. We will in due course address this aspect of spirituality and how Rigpa is gaining a stranglehold in this field by its very successful penetration of Irish hospice care, religious society, and professionals involved in this country in end of life issues.

First things firstNow a much more important issue must be addressed the elephant in the room.

The art of living and dying

A quiet revolution in how we approach death is taking place in a Buddhist retreat centre on the Beara peninsula in Co Cork, writes MIRIAM MULCAHY .

IT’S RARE TO come across such a concrete manifestation of a dream as Dzogchen Beara, a Buddhist retreat centre on the Beara peninsula in west Cork. Strings of Tibetan prayer flags, tattered and whipped by the sea, adorn a whitewashed cluster of buildings at what feels like the edge of the world. Overlooking it all is a recently opened Spiritual Care Centre, a place where people who are ill and dying can visit for respite. It has been built on a site hewn from bog and rock, and was inspired not by financial motivation but by one woman’s death and the teachings of a book.

The woman was Harriet Cornish, an Englishwoman who came to west Cork with her husband Peter in the early 1970s with a dream of establishing a spiritual centre. They had travelled all over Britain on their quest, and were close to quitting when they came to Castletownbere. They were brought in a horse and cart to look at a derelict farm a few kilometres outside the town; when they stood on the cliff-top, and saw the ocean spread below them, they knew they had found the place they’d dreamed of.

Over 20 years they renovated and built a series of buildings, creating a retreat centre that now has a hostel, offices, cottages and a meditation room with kitchens and tearooms. Inspired by Tibetan Buddhism, the centre is a perfect location for reflection, peace and meditation. In 1986, the couple invited Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying , to visit, and gifted the centre to his organisation, Rigpa. He chose the name Dzogchen Beara, which means the highest teachings in the Buddhist tradition, great perfection.

Sogyal Rinpoche was, like many of the great Tibetan masters and lamas, forced from Tibet by the Chinese invasion in 1959. His book has sold more than two million copies. Its aim was to create a quiet revolution: life for the living, and death for the dying. Rigpa has 108 centres around the world, including monasteries, retreat centres and study groups.

Throughout the year the centre runs retreats on bereavement, deep listening and meditation. “So much of the Buddhist teaching is rooted in the idea, everything changes, everything is impermanent, and it’s looking at where’s the support, where can we draw comfort after such a loss,” says Ally Cassidy, national co-ordinator of the Spiritual Care programme run by Rigpa. “We offer healing practices, and people find it amazing to have this space to talk about death, because you can’t talk about death in Ireland. The worst thing about grief is we don’t know what the hell to do with it, there’s no understanding of it, no education. Part of what we’re doing on a weekend like that is educating people as to the signs and symptoms of bereavement.”

One of those healing practices is pho’wa: “You can do this for yourself in preparing for death, but it’s also incredibly healing to be able to do that for someone who has died. And it can be done in the context of any faith, or no faith at all. These are very powerful tools to work with. So many of the Buddhist teachings are about recognising that we suffer, and how to transform that suffering.”

Cassidy came to Dzogchen Beara after years of study at the Rigpa centre in London. “There was a picture of Dzogchen Beara on the wall, and I was really captivated by it. When you’re Irish and living in London, and your heart’s always singing for home, you’d cry into a cup of tea.”

Matt Padwick, the director of the centre, had been travelling for years when he came across the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying . But it only made an impact on him when he lost his grandmother. He went to Lerab Ling, a Rigpa monastery in the south of France, to study, and 10 years ago he ended up in Beara. “Sogyal Rinpoche says we should find meaning in life and hope in death. That for me brings it all together; it’s not about your death, it’s to find meaning in your life.” He maintains there’s such a thing as an inspiring death: “Suffering can show people another way. When you feel you can help, it helps you feel better about the whole process.”

The retreats are often run over weekends, and people can stay at the centre or offsite. “People enjoy being with like-minded people. Those that come here are all ages, all backgrounds, but they come here with one thing in common; to take time out, to learn to meditate,” says Padwick. “The most important thing is not just the weekend here, it’s what they learn, taking it back, and putting it into their everyday lives. Reading it in the book is one thing; when you sit down with a group of people it goes a little bit deeper. When you receive teachings from an authentic teacher, it’s the next level again.”

Like many others who visit this place, a death brought me here. My father died suddenly last September, and it was unbearable. When we had to decide what to bring into the church to represent his life and place on his coffin, along with a fishing rod, a well-travelled Munster jersey and a photo of his beloved Kerry, we chose the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying . He had been reading it before he died. It captured his interest in meditation, in philosophy and his lifelong quest to be one of life’s rare beings: a good person, a gentleman.

After the funeral, a tsunami of letters and cards streamed in. A letter came from France, from the daughter of one of his closest friends. Orla Studdert is a student at the Lerab Ling monastery in the south of France, and her words shone like the beam of a lighthouse to a shipwreck: she wrote honestly about death and told us how, for my father, she did the Tibetan practices for the dead for 49 days. She mentioned Dzogchen Beara, and urged us to go there. Weeks later, I headed for west Cork.

In Dzogchen Beara, I experienced something completely new and unexpected: here is a place where it is okay to be bereaved. Maybe it’s the location, clinging to the edge of the Beara peninsula, like a limpet on a rock, tenaciously dug into the cliffs that guard Bantry Bay. Maybe it’s the distance from cities, where realities melt and dissolve over distance and crises that torment everyone in a vice-like grip disappear. It could be the orientation of the centre; all the windows, terraces, gardens, paths and walkways display one thing: a vast expanse of shining sea, intercut by white ribbons of surf that dance around the cliffs. All you can hear is the eternal thump of the ocean as it encounters land, over and over again.

The horizon is wider because of the height; boats work the waters below, and colonies of seabirds criss-cross the silver vista of sea and sky that changes relentlessly, yet somehow always stays the same. The people who live, work and study there are not freaked out by death; they embrace it as part of life. Many of them came here because of a death that led them to the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying , and on to meditation, study and practice.

The shrine room, where group meditations take place, has a beautiful altar with a large Buddha, photos of Tibetan lamas and posters of Tibetan deities. Outside the shrine room is a traditional Butter Lamp House, where lamps are lit for souls that have passed on, or for loved ones. The experience of meditating in that room, even for a novice, is a gift of pure peace.

This year, the Dechen Shying Spiritual Care Centre opened, inspired by the death of Harriet Cornish who died in 1993 from cancer. Despite her wish to die as she had lived, in her room overlooking the sea, she had to be moved to a hospice. Her husband and friends transformed the room she died in into a haven of peace and meditation, with a shrine, pictures and hangings of Tibetan deities. They meditated, chanted and never left her alone. After her death, her body was not moved for 24 hours, while her husband Peter continued to do practices for her. A doctor told Peter afterwards that Harriet had shown them all there was another way to die.

Sixteen years later, the care centre is finally open. Rock and cliff have been blasted and cleared away, yet more dreams and dogged belief have created this incredible building. For the guests there are rooms with conservatories that open out on to ocean views, and rooms for families, including a communal kitchen and sitting room. The jewel in the crown of the ecologically-designed building is the vast, circular meditation room. An arc of floor-to-ceiling windows fills it with views of the sea and sky. “We are looking to support people leading up to death, at the time of death, and after death,” says Darci Meyers, director of the centre.

Meyers also came here after a series of deaths of friends and family, reading the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying , and becoming a student of Rigpa.

“When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I really looked further into the Tibetan Buddhist teachings. I started working in hospices. I experienced a lot of death from an early age, and it became a part of my life. That’s what Sogyal Rinpoche’s book did for me – for the first time I could read about death and dying in a different way. It doesn’t have to be negative, scary, difficult, painful; we can use it as an opportunity to create more love, more connections. There’s not many places where you can be supported while you do that. Or you don’t hear some cliche, or some uncomfortable response, because people don’t know how to talk about it.”

If dying well can be a gift, then Harriet Cornish’s death will benefit many people. By taking away the fear of death, in an intensely spiritual way, yet curiously a way that welcomes all religions and equally none, by offering the Tibetan practices surrounding death, what is happening here is nothing less than a quiet, slow and steady revolution: it is holding death in the heart, turning to it and looking at it squarely, right in the eye.


Sogyal Rinpoche is leading an annual retreat at Dzogchen Beara until July 5th. Free Spirit, a free mini-festival featuring Luka Bloom, John Spillane and Theo Dorgan, with meditation, art and music, runs on July 10th-13th. http://www.dzogchenbeara.orgThis article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2009/0627/1224249272888.html

488 Responses

  1. End of thread for me. I agree, people can go to Ripga and see for yourself. If you get screwed, you know its true; if you dont, you get introduced to a profound philosophical system.So, that all in accord with my wishes!
    OK bella, chao. I hope you have the guts to go home now and not revisit this page.
    Love and Peace and may you find your way.

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  2. “though it is very tiring for some who have left us on this thread, others are learning slowly how the conditioning works that keeps you in the spider’s web.”

    Yes, there is karma, there are psychological tendensies etc.

    Nobody in Rigpa has asked me to stop thinking (it’s not a Buddhist idea), nobody has asked me to do against my will, nobody has asked me to shut up…

    I’m in the spider web of this web page, because the hurt of abuse is in my system: it’s not there because of SR, it’s because of other men in my youth. SR has NEVER harmed me, but instead helped me with many things. If he hadn’t provided what I needed for my progress, I wouldn’t have stayed there. The Buddhist teachings are unique in the world – and his way of theaching makes them alive, and not some sentences on a piece of paper that have no relevance to my life.

    “but a site about cultist tendencies and attitudes which can be found in religious groups or non religious groups”

    So, why are you so annoyed? Maybe in Rigpa, like in a football team or work place, there are some people who are very depended individuals and can’t separate themselves from the situations and think for themselves, but that doesn’t mean that the organization itself is supporting such ideals, like dependency. Devotion is another thing and it comes from the heart: it can’t be forced upon anybody.

    “The reason we leave this thread running it that it is a seminar in understanding mind control, abuse and how we manage somehow to not allow ourselves to believe what is happening in front of us.”

    Like I said I already heard the stories 8-9 years ago. And I said I did keep my eyes open ever since then, but it’s hard to believe me since you don’t know me? I’m a sensitive kind of person who wouldn’t be able to stay in a place with strange events happening around me that I consider absolutely wrong. It would be absolutely terrible for me and I would have to RUN away as fast as possible, but only after I would have spoken my thoughts out aloud to many people in the organization and to the head of it. I’m a kind of a fighter, so I wouldn’t leave the scene without telling what I’m thinking. Since I didn’t get ANY evidence or hint into that direction of the accusations, I have stayed because of the other good reasons. It’s a worldview (unlike in the Middle East) that I feel at home with. I have also felt the effect of the Buddhist practice, so I think I trust the teachings to speak about real things.

    “but I do understand cultist tendencies and attitudes which appear in all groups”

    Yes, they can appear: I AGREE. Why don’t you go to Rigpa and see how much coersion and mental manipulation there is? Or maybe you’ll find some really kind people and you wouldn’t be able to believe it’s true? (I’m not talking about myself).

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  3. No, not at all. Fortunately I don’t even know Tommy Davis.

    Could you make a list of the similarities, so we can check if you have any realistic opinions?

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  4. You can have your views, but I wished you visited Rigpa for a reality check.

    Sounds like something Tommy Davis would say. Do you understand why I see parallels between yourself and Scientologists?

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  5. You can have your views, but I wished you visited Rigpa for a reality check.

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  6. @ DialogueIreland

    Others are Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics and of no religious belief.

    Those last three groups are not mutually exclusive. Pet peeve of mine.

    @bellaB

    You just posted an article related to Scientology which is very well known to be a dangerous cult no 1 ripping off peoples money and psychological health on the page about Rigpa.

    Here is some food for thought. I see a tremendous similarity between Scientologists inability to tolerate the existence of dissension and you inability to tolerate the existence of dissension. You are the most prolific poster on here with 239.

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  7. No. You just posted an article related to Scientology which is very well known to be a dangerous cult no 1 ripping off peoples money and psychological health on the page about Rigpa.

    For me it just showed that you don’t have a clue about Rigpa as an organization. The extent that you want to work against Rigpa and the benefit it does bring to people I think it would be humanly fair to go there and get to know things for certain.

    Anything can be researched. Rigpa is far from closed environment like North Korea. I was just wondering if the University which is part of religion, is enough scientific to hold standards of self-critisism and ambitious research to honestly find out what is going on. If the legal system wouldn’t mind investigation in detail we would be putting people into jails after the ‘evidence’ we can read on the internet.

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  8. I revised my comments after you left a comment. So you should read that again.
    1. In brief DI WAS a Christian site now it is a site about addressing Cultism.
    2. Its members are members of different Christian groups, I am a Mennonite.
    Others are Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics and of no religious belief.
    3. You are very unsuccessfully trying to divert attention from the main issue ABUSE
    by trying to suggest that this a site run by Christians to hit on Buddhists.
    4. Sorry we do not buy that. The persons addressing you are all Buddhists.
    I am not aware of a single Christian commentator on this thread. One of the person’s
    who answers you is our Buddhist consultant. To your next question who is he/she the answer is they remain anonymous.
    5. SR has great devotion towards Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) who was the master of Yeshe Tsogyel. Yeshe Tsogyel is the main holder of his teachings. If someone sees ritualized sexual abuse in that, then he/she lacks understanding. She was a princess of some area in Tibet and in high position. She asked him questions (Dakini Teachings) and practiced so that she realized everything he taught. I pointed out to you that I do not know what you are referring to in the sentence above. I have no knowledge about Buddhism, so would leave it to our consultant.
    That which I do not know anything about I remain silent. What I do know about is cultism, hence that is why SR is found on this site.
    That is why you look fearfully around anything, without looking properly into things I am afraid of differences etc. The only fear I have is that you will go out of your mind with all the commentary. I should do proper research using I assume some kind neutralised sociological method to study SR. What planet are you on? Do you think you can just wonder around and get at the truth. How would you do research on North Korea? How would you get to understand that cultist state? https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/kim-jong-ils-comedy-club/
    You were asked have you read the dossier on the site? Please do not comment further till you have and argue against this document which was written by an expert on Tibetan Buddhism with a great knowledge of Cults. I have nothing to explain as I have told I know nothing about Buddhism, but I know all about grooming, guru /disciple abuse and the effect this has on the disciple. How like a victim of any type of abuse the person internalises what happens to them and blames themselves.
    As I have said a number of people have decided to move on because you are the greatest at diversion and attempted subversion. We are providing the disciples of the Sangha an opportunity to discern the true nectar from the dud. Ever buy a bottle of pure orange juice only to find it is nectar a mixture of juice and sugar– take it away!!!

    (VISITING a place and the people for example) and not practicing scientific critical research (even if you have a degree in some University) – but just in fear believe without seeing and knowing.
    6 “Mike Garde BD., H Dip. ED, CPE was born in South Africa, but has lived most of his life in Ireland. He is currently working towards an MA at the Milltown Institute in Dublin, Ireland on the Magnificat Meal Movement, a traditionalist Catholic Movement centred around devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to the Virgin Mary which has evolved into Cultist movement.”

    How do you explain this? I am not a Catholic but received my MA in 2006 from a Catholic Institute. What you are really saying is that because I did a thesis on a Catholic group you have a smoking gun to show the reason I am addressing the SR issue is because I want to hit on Buddhism.

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  9. I think most of us knows what happenes during sex: the energy starts to flow and one becomes quite hot. To make the energy rise and reach the heart center – to open up the energy in the heart and let it flow through you is the purpose of sexual practice in Buddhism. It’s very far from pornography and it’s mechanical representations.

    That practice is not a preliminary practice, nor it is for people in 3 year retreats but for some much more advanced practitioners. If the people feel extremely deep love in that process, I think all abusive stuff can be forgotten. Because that is actually the thing everyone looks for in sex: deep love. If that doesn’t exist in sex, it feels mechanical and abusive.

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  10. SR has great devotion towards Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) who was the master of Yeshe Tsogyel. Yeshe Tsogyel is the main holder of his teachings. If someone sees ritualized sexual abuse in that, then he/she lacks understanding. She was a princess of some area in Tibet and in high position. She asked him questions (Dakini Teachings) and practiced so that she realized everything he taught.

    I also tought that Mary Magdalene might be a disciple and the lover of Jesus, the teacher. Jesus didn’t teach his own mother, Virgin Mary to that extent (I don’t know if he taught her at all, except in public events). Didn’t he even say that you should leave your family behind and sort of join the ‘family of the Father’.

    If you stop seeing evil where it doesn’t exist necessarily (in sex between Jesus and MM for example) then you don’t have to be so tense.

    If there is some Tib. lama saying to a woman she should have sex with him, even though they don’t even know each other personally, I think it’s wrong. Of course. That is not the case of Yeshe T & GR. I don’t think SR would give such a B*** teaching to any person, since first of all he doesn’t consider himself an enlightened being and second of all just sex doesn’t liberate anyone even if someone was an enlightened being. It requires a lot more work in the part of the disciple. And the work is not related to sex.

    Even I know that one has to practice a lot in order to reach a state where ones energy is flowing freely. I can’t believe any Western student to be even close to such states. If the practice takes decades or life times, then women who are in that state might be pretty old already for older men to take interest. If the woman is nearly enlightened being she doesn’t need to be debending on a lama: I believe she has the self-confidence to kick out abusers.

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  11. It’s because you know it all, since you were (or are) part of a Christian group that was said to have cultic tendensies. That is why you look fearfully around anything, without looking properly into things (VISITING a place and the people for example) and not practicing scientific critical research (even if you have a degree in some University) – but just in fear believe without seeing and knowing.

    “Mike Garde BD., H Dip. ED, CPE was born in South Africa, but has lived most of his life in Ireland. He is currently working towards an MA at the Milltown Institute in Dublin, Ireland on the Magnificat Meal Movement, a traditionalist Catholic Movement centred around devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to the Virgin Mary which has evolved into Cultist movement.”

    How do you explain this?

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  12. but what would I know…
    Just to let you know we are following your comments with interest. You are being taught by a great Buddhist teacher. Though it is very tiring for some who have left us on this thread, others are learning slowly how the conditioning works that keeps you in the spider’s web. This not a Christian site as you call it, but a site about cultist tendencies and attitudes which can be found in religious groups or non religious groups. Some on Dialogue Ireland’s board are Christian, some are Buddhists, atheists, other’s are agnostic who share a common view about cultism. This then happens to be a where Buddhists are having a discussion. The reason we leave this thread running it that it is a seminar in understanding mind control, abuse and how we manage somehow to not allow ourselves to believe what is happening in front of us. Hence you have become the Minister for Spin for Rigpa. What is really scary is you think you are really engaging. I have no clue what Yeshe Tsogyal, ten years a Nyingmapa means, but I do understand cultist tendencies and attitudes which appear in all groups. but what would I know……………………….what I am learning here.

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  13. In the book you mentioned:
    Victims of Memory: Sex Abuse Accusations and Shattered Lives
    it talks about ritualised sexual abuse and worship of satan. Now I get the point where all this B*** is coming from… on a Christian site.

    I really know why I left the Christian (from Middle East) world view. And I don’t believe in the existence of personalized evil (nor good). It’s all in the minds of people.

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  14. “I have never heard of such Buddhist Teaching.”
    Read the biography of Yeshe Tsogyal, ten years a Nyingmapa.”

    Could you write the sentence or at least the page number?

    “Of course ‘He’ doesnt believe it. But he also knows full well that there are women out there who want to believe it. And thats a great way to get laid.”
    If SR is teaching Buddhist teachings he is not teaching bullshit on the side. You really think he is stupid? Your stories make me laught: they are so ridiculous – and I think you’ve never REALLY met SR. Or is it so that you are only able to understand on your own level of thinking – you think that SR thinks on your level: “I need to get laid”. I can’t believe it. This is WASTE of time :) It’s so super-stupid.

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  15. Are you just trying to tire people out?

    Read up a little-look at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Victims-Memory-Abuse-Accusations-Shattered/dp/0942679180 for the meaning of ritualised sexual abuse-its kind of obvious what it is-Somebody tells you if you sleep with them, you will have a tantric experience -Its one of old Nicks chat up lines. Just read a little for goodness sake Or better still, read the briefing document on SR on this site?

    ‘The rest of your stuff is simply wrong’. One allegation? Even the first article you mention refers to various allegations from more than one source. Wait til the French publish their work on SR-youll then see how many women have been willing to go on record (and for every abuse victim that does….)

    ‘Sounds like there is an organization of some weird persons bringing poor women on SR’s table to be ‘eaten’.
    Demonization of critics-well known tactic.

    “Do you think SR is naive and stupid and simple enough to think that sex with him would liberate someone?”

    You really dont get it do you?
    Of course ‘He’ doesnt believe it. But he also knows full well that there are women out there who want to believe it. And thats a great way to get laid. So, hey, what the heck Anyway, this is the sixties!Blink-SHEEZ its the 90s, maybe I should stop now…tick, tick

    “I have never heard of such Buddhist Teaching.”
    Read the biography of Yeshe Tsogyal, ten years a Nyingmapa.

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  16. “Last year, an American woman and former pupil of Sogyal decided to bring a civil case anonymously, and was allowed by the court in Santa Cruz, California, to use the pseudonym Janice Doe. She says in her suit that she approached Sogyal at a time of a time of confusion, shortly after her fathers death. According to the suit, Sogyal told her that “through devotion and his spiritual instruction, she could purify her family’s karma”. The woman alleges he seduced her the next day, claiming that she would be “strengthened and healed by having sex with him”.”
    http://www.flameout.org/flameout/gurus/sogyal_sexualhealing.html
    by Mary Finnigan

    In the newspapers it’s the ONE same story repeated. Janice Doe.

    I’m not in denial, but I think you have some wound of your own that you must repeat, otherwise you wouldn’t be so eager in demand of justice to things you don’t really know anything about: if they ever existed even. You should take that into account. I have my own wounds that I have told already. I’m touched by abuse allegations, but I also can see and think other things in Rigpa, in SR and the whole picture.

    Older men chasing after young women is unrealistic and ridiculous because it’s unsuccessful. I don’t think any young women are in danger.

    If no new or older student can talk with SR privately, then I think it’s pretty difficult to end up in his bed for abuse. If he has a long term relationship with some woman then that is his and the woman’s private matter.

    “Finally, ten years without a private audience? And this is not a business?” Excuse my English, but I don’t get your point.

    “Young women are usually disgusted by older men..” Remember its about ritualised abuse, where the perpetrator tricks people into bed by telling them that sex with them will liberate them.”

    Like I said this content I have read only in the newspaper once and it’s repeated in shock a thousand times.

    Could you describe ritualized abuse? Sounds like there is an organization of some weird persons bringing poor women on SR’s table to be ‘eaten’. That doesn’t happen.

    Do you think SR is naive and stupid and simple enough to think that sex with him would liberate someone? I have never heard of such Buddhist Teaching. And I think he is pretty aware of Buddhist teachings. I think he is more concerned over you than you are yourself. Just my experience, but what would I know…

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  17. Finally, ten years without a private audience? And this is not a business?

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  18. I” have read that piece of text written in ONE article (decades ago) and re-published again and again a thousand times.”
    Odd! I wrote the passage only yesterday, so how you read it before that |Im not sure.

    “ONE article (decades ago).”
    Different articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The San Francisco Free Press and, less than six months ago in the Irish Sunday Times. There are also numerous references acroos the web (which allows for gossip AND freedom of speech-everything on the web is not a lie)

    “can’t say anything about, since I wasn’t in the room ”
    If bella didnt see it, it didnt happen.
    Consider, repeated testimony form numerous sources, use inferential reasoning.It is possible to establish something as true without having to have direct experience-I have not seen Kuala Lumpur but it certainly is out there!

    “during my time in Rigpa, I haven’t been able to have ANY private moments or conversations with SR – which applies to other people as well. I don’t think women are in danger”

    Very strange reasoning-I havent been in the situation so Im sure its safe-What about those who have and think there is? They certainly outnumber bella

    “the whole idea of any older man chasing after young females seems so unrealistic… Young women are usually disgusted by older men..”

    Old men chasing young women ‘unrealistic’? Think again,

    “Young women are usually disgusted by older men..” Remember its about ritualised abuse, where the perpetrator tricks people into bed by telling them that sex with them will liberate them. Your telling me that, if you thought that by having sex with someone it would heal your wounds and liberate you, that you wouldnt lie back and think? Check out the aged CR Lama’s ‘consorts’.

    “Those ideas seem so fantasy-like and also quite ridiculous” Implicit meaning? Anyone who makes such allegations is a liar and a fantasist.

    In future bella, try something that hasnt been refuted repeatedly on these pages.

    Remember, people have a right to;

    Information
    Freedom of choice
    Freedom of viewpoint

    Your denials are draconian condemnations of others to think and speak for themselves. This site provides information, links and opinions for others to make uyp their owen minds. Simply repeatedly denying everything doesnt work.Most people are too intelligent to accept simple denial.
    Think. on the DI site one finds numerous references to numerous sources about multiple allegations. Bella says none of threse are true because…..bella says.
    Who ya gonna call?

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  19. “The point is that helping others looses its power when every so often you f**k up and screw somebody who asked you for help.”

    I must say that I have read that piece of text written in ONE article (decades ago) and re-published again and again a thousand times. I don’t think he is doing that. If he did that once, it’s something I can’t say anything about, since I wasn’t in the room and I must say I don’t *REALLY* trust newspapers (- from personal experience).

    SR said honeymoon period lasts for 5 years (I’m on my tenth). I heard about the accusations during my first or early second year following the teachings. I did WATCH out after that, you may believe that. Nothing I’ve seen or heard in real life (outside internet) has supported the accusations. Also, during my time in Rigpa, I haven’t been able to have ANY private moments or conversations with SR – which applies to other people as well. I don’t think women are in danger.

    (Btw. SR is around 60 and I don’t think it’s really great for men either when they age… especially not with some young females who wouldn’t perhaps understand the problems down there… I’m sorry, but at times the whole idea of any older man chasing after young females seems so unrealistic… Young women are usually disgusted by older men.. Those ideas seem so fantasy-like and also quite ridiculous to me… these fears. But it must be that way for me since I never met SR in his youth, so I don’t have these fantasies.)

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  20. Elsewhere on this issue bellaB, on November 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm Said:
    “We can discuss the matter for aeons. I think it’s better for me to stop. I’ve nothing more to say.”

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  21. I cant speak for Pema; she is free to speak for herself. And I agree that SR may well have done a lot of good for people by introducing them to Dharma. However, I feel you do not understand the issue bella. The point is that helping others looses its power when every so often you f**k up and screw somebody who asked you for help. it proves a person is not together enough spiritually to hold exalted status. I personally couldnt do it: for sure,I’d fall prey to the temptations of the flesh. But for someone to find themselves in that position and to repeatedly make mistakes and yet hide it. Thats not just weak; its manipulative and deceptive. Sure, I learned something from SR. But if my daughter went to him and got screwed, when she was vulnerable and in need of protection, it wouldnt matter to me how many people he helped-and all those little ladies were somebody’s daughter.
    I think I understand you bella; you have clearly been hurt in life and, fortunately for you, SR doesnt see you in a sexual way. All that is left between you is the Dharma. But remember, it is the medicine of the Dharma that cures our ills, not the doctor. There is no ‘laying on of hands’ in Buddhism and any doctor who screws his patients in the so called civilised world in which we live gets struck off. SR has been at this for years and basically relied on fifth amendment bullshit for protection. Well sorry, but even if he keeps quiet and thinks by that all will go away, Im not going anywhere. Nor is Mary, nor anyone else who has seen or been involved in these debacles. 20th century Western Buddhism seemed to be about ‘If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing’. Well sorry, but 21st century Buddhists have passed thru the honeymoon period and the message of the day is ‘If you see something wrong, something that harms beings and the Dharma, stand up and be counted’ The ever increasing numbers of individuals who are aware of SRs shenanigans and are speaking of them publicly are a clear indication that this is rhe case and the game is up. Naivety has led way to disillusionment and determination not to stand by and just say ‘Shit happens’. If a good Buddhist sees shit happening he or she has a moral obligation to him/herself and ALL beings to say something about it.’Shit happens and we Buddhists have a duty to do something about it’.

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  22. I just hope you are not so black and white. That is all. There are extremely good things about SR. He has and is giving a LOT to many people. Maybe more than some other lamas are capable off. Many other lamas have great respect for him – and they all know about the accusations already. Does it irritate you that they don’t become the followers of you people?

    There are personal issues, there are general issues. We in Rigpa, like no people in other groups, know about personal issues of lamas: how could we? I just see female friends (sexual or purely friends – I don’t know) who are good students and have great dedication for practice and SR. He can’t be all evil, if he can make people practice to the extent they do. Those women who I’m thinking of don’t seem to suffer about being in Rigpa. It’s their spiritual home in the deepest sense.

    You can try to crucify SR in behalf of all the Male Chauvisnist Buddhist World. But it’s a stupid act. SR is controversial: he raises all kinds of emotions and reactions, so don’t forget the good stuff. (Pema has never even seen the good stuff, so she cannot really jugde. All she can see is a slimeball, but that’s her personal problem at the end.)

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  23. Blue dakini pema mary

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  24. I agree with Kapasi too. Thread pretty well exhausted….but new aspects do crop up occasionally. Right now tho, I don’t want a part in the Bella B show.

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  25. BDPM? Bloody Difficult Pema Mary? Bella’s Demon Person Mary? I think not…please enlighten me? Also at sea on TBS.
    You are right of course and have my respect.

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  26. I think there comes a point where a discussion becomes redundant. My feeling is that this came a long time ago on this page. Nothing new has been said, there is nothing worth reading here any more. If other people were pitching in it would add variety and be a true discussion, but as it is, I get the feeling we have 2 people-one being Bella (as to her authenticity, that is for you to decide-I know what I think) and the other is someone who keeps psoting under different names, whilst saying the same thing. This alone makes me feel uncomfortable about joining in here.

    I think there is a very good case for more moderation.

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  27. Hi BDPM

    No I dont enjoy it;I simply cannot allow lies to be the last word on this issue. You and I both know what is said about SR to be true because weve seen it happen. B, on the other hand, is a classic example of so many phenomena (TBS, ‘Brainwashing’ dependency)If we allow people like this to shout us down and have the last word (when the last word is always denial) the truth will not out.

    The good news is, the news IS out.And SR knows its out and isnt sueing. I just cant think why? (:-)

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  28. I’m tired Well. Been defelecting insults, paranoia, denial etc for a long time. Overall its been worth the effort because like you, there are now 100s if not 1,000s of people who support the present zeigeist to deal effectively with Sogyal Lakar, top of the Tibetan Buddhist sexual/financial abuse/coercive cult league. I guess you enjoy bouncing off Bella? There is no pleasure in it for me.

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  29. What are the *finals* for a Buddhist student?

    To become a being who could help others for liberation? How a sexual or personal relationship to any other person is going to help in that? Love helps on the path, but it’s not your only passport through the “gates” of ego and self-cherishing. Gotta go to the unclinging, unpolitical, free space of yourself – then continue the path.

    ” ‘You are so out of it Pema. You think you know what is going on in HHDL’s mind? How arrogant can you be?’

    Err and you are omniscient?”

    I don’t need to be omniscient to hear what around 1000 other people heard too. You both weren’t there. I don’t claim to know HHDL’s mind, but I’m not first one to think that he is lying – I leave those mind games to the Chinese officials.

    You are so negative and twisting things until the end – I hope you can see some light at some point.

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  30. “If one of them is also attractive to the University teacher and they get to know eachother, I really don’t mind them having a relationship”.
    Yes I remember a girl at uni sleeping with lecturers-she did well in her finals too. Point is bella, those of us who knew about it thought it TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE for students to sleep with teachers. its illegal at school and college levels and reprehensible at university level. if you find that acceptable, you obviously dont have kids or a grip on reality

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  31. ‘Alongside the above howlers its getting bitchy again, so I’ll back off.’
    Fight fire with fire if water doesnt work

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  32. ‘You are so out of it Pema. You think you know what is going on in HHDL’s mind? How arrogant can you be?’

    Err and you are omniscient? You just presumed to do the very thing you condemn her for. Even when Lamas do say anything, how can you know their motive-they even lie if it brings about the greater good-and endorse Buddhist centres (shock horror!)

    Before you start claiming that the women SR screwed were his ‘girlfriends’, I would remind you to examine the concept of abuse of position and the imbalance of power in such relations, as you have been asked to do repeatedly but STILL continue to claim that all was consensual. the imbalance of power and position is SEXUAL ABUSE according to the definitions one finds in the books, all except the gospel according to bella.

    I also note that after repeated denials, then acceptance that things may have happened in the past, you now pragmatically label the victims ‘girlfriends’. Please explain which position you now hold

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  33. Bella — did you SEE Nicholas Sarkozy at LL? Are you SURE Soggy was married to Mary Anne? Alongside the above howlers its getting bitchy again, so I’ll back off.

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  34. Pema, you don’t know ANYTHING. I happened to be in the auguration. I and hundreds of people heard HHDL saying: “I’m so happy to be here. I will come again.” (In his speach the next day when the president of France and other non-buddhist guests were gone.)

    Orgyen Tobgyal commented: “HHDL never says things like that about a Temple: that he is happy. I was afraid what he would say. Usually he says temple is too big or small. Now he was just pleased.”

    SR said: “I was thinking to invite HHDL again, but now I don’t need to because he said himself he would come!” (And that is a RARE thing to say from HHDL.)

    You are so out of it Pema. You think you know what is going on in HHDL’s mind? How arrogant can you be?

    Well, I’m asking you: what about those women who are and have been happy about their relationship with SR? If a student chooses to have a relationship with him, it’s her wish. (I can believe some women do wish, even thouh many women might not). If being a student and a girlfriend of a lama is not a problem for some women, why is it to you? In the case of children and young people (under 25 years old) one tends to want to protect them because of their general unawareness of themselves and their true needs (I also feel the need to protect them). In the case of adults… it’s a different story.

    It’s also common for adult women (in similar way as for young students) to have crushes on their University teachers even when they are themselves 30-60 years old. If they can deal with their own emotions and not take them too seriously, I think those adults can have their emotions. If one of them is also attractive to the University teacher and they get to know eachother, I really don’t mind them having a relationship.

    In the case of huge age difference I do feel weird about the relationships, but that’s my problem. If the woman is still around 25, I think she is a baby and needs protection.

    I have this feeling that SR’s female friends tend to be a bit older: 30-> During past 10 years (that I’ve known him) he was most of the time married and had a child with an American woman. Maybe they are divorced, I don’t know. I didn’t get faced with anything strange.

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  35. I believe the Tenzin Gyatso Institute was set up because initially HHDL declined an invitation to inaugurate the Lerab Ling *who’s-got-the-biggest-temple/smallest dong extravaganza* that says more about Sogyal’s personality disorder than it does about the needs of the Buddhist community. HHDL is caught between a rock and a hard place (oops!) re Sogyal. He is obliged to manifest unwavering support for all the er lamas who keep the dharma-cash flowing into the Dharamsala coffers, whilst simultaneously maintaining his perch on the moral high ground. He is not helped by the aparatchiks in his private office, who sanitise his correspondence and respond with smoke screens to questions around sexual exploitation and abuse.

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  36. Again, the jealousy argument? What next racism? I think you tried all those before. Get it right? Nobody is jealous and nobody cares about the colour of Sogyals skin ITS ABOUT SCREWING DISCIPLES. I dont want to screw disciples and Im no guru wannabe. IF SOMEONE SCREWS DISCIPLES AND THEY COME OUT DAMAGED PEOPLE NEED TELLING. Its no good for Buddhism and no good for ANY of the people involved. The more we talk about it, the more cautious predators become and their activities are curtailed-IS THAT WHY YOU ARE TRYING TO SHUT PEOPLE UP? Is the master hungry?
    AS for the Tenzin Gyatso institiute: Machiavellian manipulation of popular current opinion in order to enhance ones own status by association. Its called innocent by association. Clearly, even the Dalai makes mistakes-but he doesnt screw his disciples or beat them or lie or womanise or any other of he things we know Soggy does.No bella SRs motives in promoting Nyingma Dharma by reliance on HH are simply Tibetan pragmatism-they grant no more credibilty than a politicians lies.

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  37. I just thought about ex-partners…

    How many of your ex-partners are really happy to have stumbled upon you in their lives? I think only a few if you have managed to stay as friends afterwards… the rest…. one can only pray for them and wish them good luck in their lives – remotely… :)

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  38. sorry… many mistakes…

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  39. You seem like an ignorant person.

    If you’ve met SR and you didn’t like him for your personal reasons, then nobody should like him? For how long did you sustain his presence in years?

    Informed? Like you knew something? Did you ever met a woman who liked SR? Did you get another point of view? It’s a bit difficult to be judgemental about relationships between any people. There are always many points of view – and usually also subconscious issues that partners might not be aware of – but Well is very aware and he can judge for other people.

    About Chinese: you really should ought to know better. SR is working to establish Tenzin Gyatso Institute in US to preserve the life work of HHDL for future generations. Maybe he is able to achieve much more that benefits people and societies than you. Does that p*** you off? Do you know that SR has very close friendships to the (former and present) members of the Tibetan Government in exile? Some are his relatives. Did you see them talking in LL when HHDL was there inaugurating the temple tears in their eyes about the situation of the Tibetan nation and warmly about their relationship to SR.

    Do these facts disturb your established point of view or are you going to sit there demonizing people?

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  40. Also,bella (and entirely coincidentally ‘let’s be fair’, who it appears is close to SR) tell us not to believe anything we learn via the internet:it is a vile place full of liars and deceivers, where people can say anything they want.

    Erm, ‘where people can say anything they want.’? Isnt that called freedom of speech? Isnt that the way the voices of the opressed are heard? Isnt it how the abused get listened to?

    Obviously not. In the minds of the little fairies at Ripgaland, freedom of speech is clearly one of the curses of living in the free world rather than one of its many blessings

    Maybe SR and Kelsang Gyatso should get together and start building a partnership in China-they’d both feel right at home! (Better hurry up though Soggy-KGs already got his foot right in the door, indeed it seems he has made his way up to the bedroom!: ‘Oh, Kelsang!’. ‘Oh Jintao’ [do not read on as this may undermine faith in the internet])

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  41. Bella is ALWAYS right> How do we know? Because she says so! Yes, Buddhist Pramana now accepts four valid methods of establishing truth:
    Direct perception, testimony, inferential reasoning AND bella says so!
    All the newspaper stories, countless allegations, first hand testimonies, the out of court settlement etc are lies.All lies because….bella says so!
    THINK-If I dont see the tiger(direct perception) but people tell me there is one round the corner (testimony) and can hear screams and what sounds like a tiger roaring (inference), should I go round the corner?
    Answer: Yes. Why? Because bella says there is no tiger and they are all lying! Who you gonna call?

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  42. “Maybe you should let women make their own choices and take responsability for their actions.” Yes bella,let people make their own INFORMED choices.

    “Are women still under the protection of males?”
    Like Sogyal and yourself?

    “If you’ve never met SR, I imagine it to be really easy to call names”
    Err, Ive told you before, I HAVE met him

    “You are simply wrong”
    And the evidence for that is………….bella says so.So everyone who says the opposite is a liar.
    Wow, your so powerful and wise…..NOT.

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  43. “Maybe you should let women make their own choices and take responsability for their actions.” Yes bella,let people make their own INFORMED

    Are women still under the protection of males?

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  44. Maybe you should let women make their own choices and take responsability for their actions. Are women still under the protection of males?

    If you’ve never met SR, I imagine it to be really easy to call names here and think SR is here to harm others. You are simply wrong.

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  45. “Read: Let’s Be Fair’s writings.-If I know people who work closely with SR I think I rather believe their word than the words”
    Ah yes, ‘lets be fair’. I seem to recall this persons arguments attempting to achieve the moral high ground on this issue via semi intellectual ramblings , ramblings which were criticised and ridiculed for their obvious floors and contradictory morals. He works closely with SR you say? Interesting. Does that mean that you two are the best SR can do to recover his tattered reputation? Be afraid, be very afraid!

    PS When MOST OF THE POSTERS HERE, listen to you, its you that sounds like a sick person. In fact, I think its fairly obvious that you need a great deal more help than most. How sad. Like lambs to the slaughter they go. Vulnerable oppressed women seeking refuge, casting themselves into the arms of the very beast they are trying to escape.

    Actually, Buddhism does attract lots of crazies. My advice to them would be the same as I would give to you-seek psychiatric help. Once youre so called ‘normal’, then seek spiritual sustenance. So far, your relationship with SR seems only to have increased your confusion as well as your inability to accept logical arguments, evidence, testimony. Seek help bella, but not from those who have a habit of harming others.

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  46. Pema, when I listen to you, I think you sound like sick person rather than SR.

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  47. I have it on record that the reason the Janice Doe lawsuit was settled out of court, with substantial but undisclosed damages to the plaintiff, was that Janice’s marriage was under extreme stress and about to collapse. If she had proceeded she would have lost her husband. Bear in mind that this long suffering man had put up with his wife leaving him to become a member of Sogyal’s harem and to travel with the slimeball around the world, carrying his luggage and generally waiting on him subserviently — and being beaten for her pains. Eventually Janice’s husband became seriously ill and she decided to prioritise his needs. It is a great pity that she did not follow through on the lawsuit, but one has to give her credit for initiating it. At best, it provided a *peg* for numerous media stories and threw light on the undeniable fact that Sogyal is a sadistic sexual predator who exploits his spurious credentials as a Tibetan lama for his own indulgence and gratification. All up, a sordid tale which should be a warning to anyone embarking on a guru-disciple relationship.

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  48. The reasons why the law suit was called off are unknown. It is also possible that it was false accusation. Since I nor you know there’s no point in discussion. Read: Let’s Be Fair’s writings.

    If I know people who work closely with SR I think I rather believe their word than the words from some fair buddhists who claim to know but in fact don’t know, as I can see from the posts.

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  49. ‘Your first point is Wrong. You don’t have a clue, so don’t present stuff as facts.’

    Oh dear bella; are you lying to protect your friend Surely youve read the Telegraph article and the piece from the san Francisco free press, both of which feature here and both of which make reference to the frequently mentioned, very real case of ‘Janice Doe’, a case which was settled after allegations of varied forms of physical abuse, at a cost of several million dollars.Moreover, the Janice Doe case is not the only instance of abuse mentioned. This is ‘fact’ not ‘stuff”.

    You do not elucidate on why the second point is incorrect

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  50. Here, here. exactly the reason why, from the side of Sogyal’s victims, there has been no successful litgation as yet. Bella seems intent on denying anything and everything on this page. it should be clear from reading between the lines however, that bella has ‘issues’ and there is therefore little value in taking anything he or she says as deeply meaningful.Rather, she is a classic example of true believer syndrome (mentioned eslewhere in this thread), the sufferers of which refuse to beleive truth about their leaders and groups despite numerous instances of this not being the case.
    It is phenomenally important in the transition from East to West that Dharma organizations as well as individual Buddhists maintain morality. Anyone who does otherwise should be outed according to the Dalai Lama. Bella disagrees with the Dalai Lama-Who you gonna call?

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  51. 1)Thus far, Sogyal has escaped prosecution by virtue of paying off accusors
    2) The wealth of evidience in the public domain means that, should SR ever find himself in a civil court , there is the overwhelming likelihood that he would be found guilty. Thats the so called ‘real world’, not bella’s fantasy interpretation.

    Your first point is Wrong. You don’t have a clue, so don’t present stuff as facts.

    I think it’s best to proceed with a claim and not post ‘whatever’ in the internet.

    The Rigpa-machine didn’t participate in this discussin, not here and I haven’t see evidence of it anywhere in the internet.

    People are shocked and of course they have to be told what the truth is. Neither of you know the truth – as much as you wished to know, like me, but you don’t.

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  52. Laws of the Land — thanks for your excellent item. Also Well for holding the ground. I am breaking my promise not to post here again for 2 reasons. 1 –a correction. Sogyal is not resident in the UK. He is resident in France. 2. As I understand it, in order for a civil lawsuit to be launched there has to be a plaintiff. Despite giving comprehensive testimony, witness statements etc to journalists like me, so far no-one except for Janice Dow in America has been willing to face the trauma of launching and carrying through a civil lawsuit. I have some sympathy in this respect — in view of the ferocity of Sogyal’s PR machine, I have no doubt his lawyers would be equally rottweiler in their tactics. It would take an exceptionally strong person to with stand the onslaught.

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  53. Truth is indeed an important issue, though it is not, as you appear to believe, simply defined as ‘that which one believes’. In the UK, where Sogyal resides, there are two levels of law which determine ‘truth’: criminal and civil. Criminal insists that evidence be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’-there must be clear, incotrovertible evidence of wrongdoing. Civil law secures a guilty verdict however, on the balance of an issue being true or false ‘on the balance of probability. ie, if there are allegations which are repeated,and there is similarity between these allegations, then this is considered sufficient evidence to secure a conviction.
    For literalists, only criminal law will suffice-they will accept only direct evidence-video, witness accounts etc. In abuse cases such is hard to come by. Hence, few convictions for abuse under criminal law are apparent. However, if we subject abuse cases to civil law proceedings, there is a far greater likelihood of conviction. Certainly, in SRs case, there is a good chance of securing prosecution, a chance that actually manifested on one ocassion in the US but which did not make it to court because the plaintiff was ‘paid off’ (a useful piece of evidence in the civil arena).However, this failure of the case to come to court is not an indication of the falsity of the allegations, only the greed of the plaintiff and their disregard for the greater good (everyone has their price) The facts remain that:
    1)Thus far, Sogyal has escaped prosecution by virtue of paying off accusors
    2) The wealth of evidience in the public domain means that, should SR ever find himself in a civil court , there is the overwhelming likelihood that he would be found guilty. Thats the so called ‘real world’, not bella’s fantasy interpretation.
    Actually, based on my experience, I suspect one of Sogyal’s recurrent worries is when the first succesful litigation against him will rear its head-not ‘if’, but ‘when’; I suspect that some of the Rigpa publicity machine at least is devoted to preventing that very thing.
    In summary, what constitiutes truth according to bella is direct experience. What constitutes truth for the law of the land AND Buddhism is that based on inference and testimony. So bella,in your battle with the world and other Buddhists you are wrong. Please stop posting here since all you are doing is denying and smokescreening. Instigate action against critics or shutup! (and before you suggest Sogyal’s victims do the same, google ‘Why do abuse claims usually fail’ [despite their demonstrable validity]

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  54. Well, you can believe what you want. I want to know things for real. In the case of my lama, nothing else is good enough for me. You might understand that?

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  55. ‘We must exist in completely different worlds. I can’t explain it in any other way.’
    We all live in different worlds, both in relation to others and indeed in relation to our own ever changing experience which means we are constantly passing through different worlds; saints and sinners can exist side by side in the same person even!. With poor old SR there has just been too much Hyde and not enough honest Dr Jekyll. With the abuse,Its not a question of whether he did it-that is already established I believe. The question is the extent of it, how long it went on for, how much damage it caused.

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  56. From my experience I don’t see SR behaving in the way you describe it. It doesn’t sound real. The friend of mine working there for years agrees with me. It just doesn’t sound like his behavior at all, I’m sorry. SR is very supportive about people’s relationships. He has said multiple times it’s not good only to work in Rigpa, but he is supportive for people having personal relationships and support from each other. I think he has a good heart and I cannot recognize the stuff you speak as typical of him, but the opposite of him, actually. I have only felt that he protects me in his teachings. Also another close female student here wrote about gang rape in her youth – and how SR has compassionately supported her. That is how I see him: strong and supportive, not a fool. We must exist in completely different worlds. I can’t explain it in any other way.

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  57. Hey I just thought, is it the same as, if a tree falls over and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? Y’know, if a so called Buddhist master abuses disciples but there are no witnesses, did the abuse ever actually happen? Well daahlings, even if you didnt hear it, the tree made a sound and it did fall over.Even if you didnt see someone being abused, that does not mean abuse did not happen. I have never seen anyone being sexually abused-how senseless and ridiculously small minded a person I would be if I were to assert that therefore abuse had never occurred.

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  58. ‘ If he had said something even closely related to that low level of things I would have picked it up.’ He said this to someone I am very close to decades ago 9long before you) , laughing about how his position meant he was able to offer the chance of a ‘tantric experience’, He screwed my best friends girl after shed been going to Rigpa for less than a month and new hardly any Dharma.The newspaper articles, the coming book, the numerous references from disturbed females to the same, repeated type of behaviour.
    ‘But would you believe when I say it? No’ Innit?

    Again, we come back to ‘bella didnt see so it doesnt exist’ What happens when someone else DOES see this going on and announces it? Who is right? Are all the accusers liars and only bella know whats true? Who are you; God?

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  59. You have a great fantacy. And I can see that you don’t KNOW anything.

    It depends on the Tibetan monastery how strick the rules are there. It depends on the boss (the head lama) and the general atmosphere. Do you happen to know that it’s about 10% of Tibetan population as monks and nuns? I think it’s possible for only 1% or less of ANY population to live in strickt celibacy and perfectly according to the guidelines. Tibetan Buddhism is not like Islam. It’s NOT first of all a JUDGEMENTAL religion. You should start from that. Completely different mind set from Western thinking. That also influeces the whole society. Maybe that and the teachings about compassion make Tibetans seem a bit more happier than Western (Except now when they are under the Chinese rule).

    I have to say in Rigpa we don’t have any ‘fantacy sex games’ going on among us. We are REALLY serious as a sangha. Go see one day for yourself.

    Most of SR’s students are OLD. Young females? There are also nuns and monks working closely to him. The closest young female student is a woman in a her 30’s and she has a boyfriend who is also working closely (for more than a decade) with SR. My friend knows them well – and there’s absolutely no bullshit going on.

    But would you believe when I say it? No. (I understand. But it’s so easy to believe all the shit stuff you read. It’s so much harder to believe in the positive. It’s only human.)

    This is the most idiotic fantacy of yours: “Then it is suggested to you that perhaps a ‘tantric experience’ with the Golden Child will heal your broken heart/grief from the death of a parent/ a small bunion you have on your right big toe.”

    I’ve never heard SR say ANYTHING like that in any of his teachings. He is not a moran and an idiot, like you think. If he had said something even closely related to that low level of things I would have picked it up.

    Go listen to what he is really saying and stop repeating the stupid stuff here.

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  60. ‘Is it’? Thats the sort of question that tells us so much about you. Is it OK for spiritual teachers to repeatedly use there position to coerce vulnerable women into having sex?
    NO NO NO. What do they say at Rigpa? Something different? I’ll bet.

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  61. There’s this guy called Sogyal Rinpoche. He’s got lots of female disciples around him, pretty young things that have been told by his belief system that you should see him as a living Buddha. Then it is suggested to you that perhaps a ‘tantric experience’ with the Golden Child will heal your broken heart/grief from the death of a parent/ a small bunion you have on your right big toe. (this treatment may involve the use of certain injections) Thats how it works babe! Its as easy as falling off an impressionable young girl.Finally, I have no theory (‘your theory’?) about abusive Tibetans-That info comes from Tibetans and academics. The openness to abuse of many of the religious structures in Tibet is well documented- e g the use of young males for sexual gratification in celibate monastic environs etc etc. Dont you read?There was a good article in the Telegraph a few years ago about Sogyal.Seen it? I believe they didnt sue, though several millions of dollars were exchanged as an out of court setllement-I think they call it ‘hush money’?

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  62. Is it?

    Could you please explain your theory about abusive Tibetans?

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  63. Hey, guess what? They did in Tibet too, especially among the ‘privileged’ tantrikas.Times change though, dont they? In fact.Sogyal is just one player in a whole system which, in the wrong hands, can transform into an abusive matrix.It went wrong long time back in Tibet and he thus comes from a world and society where it was accepted peculiarity-were seeing the tail end.I guess there are some truths that will always remain the same though-like dont screw your disciples? It was wrong then and it is wrong now.And thats what hes been doing isnt it?

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  64. You must be so ignorant. You think SR is some stupid idiot or sex worker offering tantric experiences? Go find those people in the New Age tantric groups. They DO exist.

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  65. No, did Sogyal offer this service and was he capable of fulfilling it is the question, isn’t it?

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  66. I hope so! ‘Ritualised’? Try offering a young, impressionable disciple a ‘tantric experience’ and see how they respond! (Paint you eyebrows like Fumanchu first, though!)
    Anyway, once again: was it ritualised or not?
    Who gives a flying f***?
    The question is was it abusive or not?

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  67. Ritualized? You must be out of your m…

    If there are so many women as is claimed, then surely they’ll have support from each other in order to go to police.

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  68. Oh come on. Surely you dont think people cant see through that. According to you half the planet have been abused by the other half-how come they didnt go to the police? A simple question: What percentage of the many victims of abuse go to the police?Thats the question that answers yours, as you well know. Another smokescreen bellaB? Looks like. Stick to the issues: Sogyal/Ritualised and mundane sexual and physical abuse.
    PS

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  69. ANOTHER correction: Why the police haven’t received any new evidence from the accusers?

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  70. Correction: Why the police haven’t received any new evidence from the accusators?

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  71. You didn’t read all the posts here. There are posts about the law suit and what that was all about. Someone called Let’s Be Fair or some other person wrote a long detailed description. But that post has been ignored completely. As much as I have read the post I can identify details from that post which tell me that the person really knows what he/she is writing about. In no other post I can see that the person knows Rigpa or SR that much.

    For me New Zealand exists. It was my dream to travel there ever since I was a child: I’ve seen many documentaries about it on tv, so I do believe that that kind of place exists. It would be a bit difficult to set up that kind of landscape, but of course it was possibe: take a bit of Ireland and a bit of Japan and mix them into a nice combination.

    If the police investigates the issue they wouldn’t believe what they read on the internet. They would hear out the people in person. They would ask SR and the women what has happened. If you really have no idea – like I don’t have – about events then do you think it’s ok to point your finger on someone? What if that happened to you? Were you ever blamed for no real reason?

    Why the police haven’t received any new evidence from the accused?

    I also know what you are doing. People are drawn into scandals. It’s so hot.

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  72. ‘And Well, you can begin by telling your OWN experiences about use.’ otherwise it is not considered valid by bellab. Buddhism (she is a Buddhist!) and its logic teachings (pramana) on the other hand accept:
    1) Direct experience
    2) Inferential reasoning
    3)Testimony
    as valid logical proofs.
    Bearing in mind that there has been a law suit against Sogyal for sexually abusive and violent behaviour, as well as numerous allegations which confirm a similar modus operandae with a large number of (ex) disciples, (ie testimony) we can infer (thats inferential reasoning) that Sogyal is an abuser of the precious name ‘Lama’ as well as an abuser of women. So, bella may not accept things except by direct experience (she hasnt been to New Zealand so New Zealand doesnt exist) but Buddha does! Who you gonna call?
    PS How do criminologists solve crime? ‘He didnt do it.’ ‘OK case solved!’ Sorry bella, your approach is ignorant of Buddhist teaching and rude to Sogyal’s poor victims (who may exist, even according to you, but it doesnt matter anyway because it was a long time ago)

    Then comes the customary rant about why men are evil-Stop trying to sidetrack the site by talking about irrelevancies-we know what youre doing.

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  73. And Well, you can begin by telling your OWN experiences about use.

    There isn’t clear evidence on abuse, what has happened etc.

    If one really told the details of any such event one could analyse and think about it.

    I felt used by men in my youth – is it because I went to bed with someone I didn’t know yet? I didn’t know if the man really cared about me or not. I didn’t know if I cared about the man or not. Then afterwards when the man didn’t make enough effort to please me, but just ‘wanked on my body’, I felt abused. Did I abuse my own body too? Why I let such things to happen to me? Because I was curious and I wanted to have experiences. Too bad not many of those experiences were good experiences.

    So, the feeling of having been abused can stem from multiple kind of experiences. (That was the reason why told that example).

    I think for any woman – if she is any normal – the discontinuation of any sexual relationship feels abusive. I have no idea what has happened between SR and his girlfriends.

    Any such thing that a new student would arrive and end up in SR’s bed is not possible. If some woman is close to SR and then something happens is really hard to judge without details.

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  74. Lets now take stock of which comments from bella are aimed at clarifying issues, and which are simply condemnatory smokescreens to draw attention away from the multiple abuse issues.

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  75. Yes indeed, why should people be demonised for sexual abuse and abuse of power. Totally inappropriate conduct in relation to vulnerable disciples is one thing, getting called horrid things like ‘cultish abuser’ and ‘womaniser’ are another!

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  76. Yes we can stick to the subject. I’m just against the demonizing, slander and ‘cult’ stuff. Like it shows on the site that people don’t know much of SR nor Rigpa.

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  77. I guess if we fill the whole of this thread with stuff thats not related to Sogyal Rinpoche, abuse of power for sexual gratification, violence towards women etc, we will eventually arrive at the point where those issues are no longer visible amongst the countless postings-not being able to see the wood for the trees as it were.Does this have a familiar ring to it? Smokescreens? All smoke and mirrors I guess.

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  78. The thing about openness is good. The negative thing is that many are more accepting towards their own misbehavior since social control doesn’t exist in the same way – especially not in the world of internet.

    There are good things about present day but also bad things.

    The existence of values can be questioned and they can be discussed, but it seem at this present moment that liberal and capitalistic values run over social awareness: individual freedom is the *value* one should not criticize. At least in my country. I don’t know if Ireland has always been capitalistic so you can’t notice the drastic change. (I guess Ireland was pretty religious in the past and the *new freedom* might feel liberating from the known Catholic Quilt Trip).

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  79. Golden age yearners are just like those who dwell on the future-fantasy world inhabitants. For goodness sake B, learn to be here now-all you have is this moment-and it aint that bad!You can spoil it however, by going on about how crap everything is and how much better things could be. IT COULD BE TEN THOUSAND TIMES WORSE. So stop complaining and enjoy you remaining time on the planet

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  80. I never understand why people are so quick to pessimism about modern society. Prostitutes, and ’quick sexual relationships’ as you put it, are not modern phenomena. What has changed is that the associated taboos and restrictions on discussing these topics has been broken down somewhat. I regard that as an improvement, particularly when you consider how in more modern times any victims in this area have more chance to have their voices heard.

    To put in bluntly the ‘problems’ we have today are neither new nor part of a descent into immorality. They have always existed. The difference between today and the past is that the restrictions and unease barring an examination these ‘problems’ have been somewhat broken down. A ‘problem’ is no less a problem if people are not talking about it or attempting to deal with it. That in modern times we, as a society, are more prepared to talk about these issues is a monumental step forward from the silence, taboos and ideological cowardice that used to rule the minds of men.

    Avoid the trap of mistaking open dialogue of ‘problems’ with normalisation of said ‘problems’, and recognise how antiquated societies ‘ills’ really are.

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  81. I meant our culture supports ‘bastard’ behavior more and more. My country and the culture within has changed drastically. It never was a paradise but people did matter more a few decades ago than today. Money and values of economy have arrived to Universities and education, where other values ruled in the past. That tendency force people into superficiality, not belonging to anywhere and also not dedicating themselves into anything since you can get kicked out from jobs any time and then you have to change residence, neighbourhood and the rest of your daily scenario. Superficial search of partners through internet, the use of prostitutes and quick sexual relationships are sort of ‘normal’. At least I used to know a female who did hunt men through internet, so I had a climpse of that kind of life. She seems not to be the only one. Cynical disappointment in men was at the background of her behavior. Nothing seemed to really matter anyway, except herself and her needs. Moral questions seemed to be of less importance.

    Pablo Picasso was an asshole, but it didn’t matter to women who had relationships with him – and I bet they all knew he was married. (Victims?) I don’t have ANY real life evidence of SR behaving in the way like PP.

    You know what is the difference between gossip and the reality? Reality can be quite different from the gossips. Stories, fantacies and imagination can run wild. If I had seen SR behaving in a weird way once in real life I might consider the gossip to be true. I just haven’t and a friend of mine that have worked closely with SR and lived in retreat place for years haven’t. SR does have a sense of humour and he doesn’t play saint which doesn’t fit to some people’s expectations of (old fashioned) clerical or saintly behavior. He is not here to please everybody. He is not a politician.

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  82. Indeed. In particular for a supposed follower of a tradition which recognizes everything as mental activity rather than having a firmly established basis in the ‘external’ universe, is an indication of how deeply the person is actually involved in the application of the practice. I can only suggest the author has barely scratched the surface of Buddhist teachings. As a starting, the overwhelming number of Tibetan, Mahayana Buddhists consider are expected to consider all beings, male and female, a kind mothers, worthy of love and compassion. ‘Bastards’? I don’t think so.
    Perhaps this is a clue to the difference between Sogyal’s teachings and those of the other Buddhists. Ah yes,’I wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all those bastards out there’ It certainly has a ring to it, donchathink?

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  83. Our society is forgetting human values. People in it are more and more egoistical and like self absorbed bastards.

    A lot of people claim this but it just isn’t true. Nostalgia for the ‘good ‘ol days’ is a strong clouder of judgement.

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  84. bella, you are clear evidence of the efficacy of following Sogyal. The web is not real life? Where do you draw the line then? Ah yes, unless it happens to you, you consider it false. Did you go to NY? No? Then, according to your logic, it does not exist.

    Do bear in mind that frauds, murders, numerous other crimes have been detected because of the internet. The message not the medium.

    PS people are self-absorbed, yes, but that doesn’t make them bastards. This type of language is really far removed from the Buddhist world you supposedly live in.
    And if you think Picassos behaviour was acceptable, that explains your misconceptions avbout SR. Remember to,Picasso had no duty of filial care to those he seduced. Like an adoptive and abusive parent, Sogyal did.

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  85. Our society is forgetting human values. People in it are more and more egoistical and like self absorbed bastards.

    I just think it’s really hypocritical to demonize anybody – especially if one gets all the information from web pages like this one without ever actually been involved in real life or being an eye witness to claimed events.

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  86. Picasso was whatever he was (and even though he learnt to draw like a genious without attending any art school, I don’t value his art that much) and he was allowed to be that – like also many ‘attractive’ boys at schools, men at jobs and everywhere in the world – by women and men alike. Womanizers and wife cheaters are all around.

    Poor women (who were after famous men in general?) fell for Picasso. Are they victims? Are all those women victims who decidedly TODAY in Western society chooce to go to bed with married men every stinking day in our societies? Are all prostitutes victims or just really damaged egoistic bastards that are after money of family fathers? I think mainly men are to be blamed for the poor status and mistreatment of women in our societies, but c’mon, there are also pretty egoistic women around. Did you notice that?

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  87. PS Picasso was a womanising slob who abused his position to screw as many vulnerable women as possible. (And, without fear of allegations that I am a phillistine, much of his work was shite!) Are you quoting Bowie to prove that SR is different? If so, I suggest you re-read the first sentence.

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  88. ‘chatastrophy’-your damned right. If misogyny is hatred of women, and misanthropy the hatred of mankind, what is hatred of men? What about hatred of aloneness, another motivating factor in these ridiculous posts which only prove that SR has got some VERY confused people in his entourage?C’mon bella, put some more wood on the fire.

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  89. And what about Pablo Picasso?

    David Bowie sings:
    “Well some people try to pick up girls
    They get called assholes
    This never happened to Pablo Picasso

    The girls would turn the colour of a juicy avocado
    When he would drive down their street in his El Dorado

    He could walk down your street
    Girls could not resist his stare
    So Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole
    Not like you

    Well he was only 5’3″
    But girls could not resist his stare
    Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
    Not in New York”

    World seems to be run by men. It’s good if the world is changing more for the womens’ liking. I really think men should follow womens wisdom, but how are they going to begin following? World seems like it has to end in some ecological chatastrophy before feminine wisdom can have any say (weather it’s coming from from the mouths of men or women). Down patriarchy! But I must say that after LISTENING carefully SR’s teachings I really think he values women and also he is teaching about the softer values in human society, which is VERY wellcome. I think he is not the worst type of males. Is it strange that he has very many female students, nuns etc. – and they are not all after his dick, you know? He has something to say.

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  90. And anyway, he didn’t inhale. Actually, that was Bill Clinton. who down the years also received a lot of negative press because of his womanising. I could never understand it, I mean he was kind enough to splash out on a new dress for the Lewinski girl :) But she wouldnt let it lie!

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  91. Cigars… I forgot.

    I think it’s pretty well known fact that cigars or cigarettes are not adviced by Buddhist lamas since the smoke blocks the energy flow.

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  92. I base my opinion on what I’ve seen in Rigpa for past decade.

    I’ve seen SR practice hours on and on. We regular students cannot sit still after 3 hours, worse after 6-8 hours….

    Alcohol he said he can’t drink. Alcohol in tsok is not used.

    Porn, who knows if I look at it, if MF looks at it… it’s pretty common.

    Finacial abuse. How would MF know anything about economy in Rigpa? She was there in the 70’s (maybe 80’s…) Ask Philippe or Mauro in France about financial stuff.

    SR supports Western psychology and it as a help for people who need it before they can encage in deep spiritual practice. It’s just common sense.

    SR is open and interested in Western science.

    He is also open for Christian teachings, has Christian priests as friends, etc.

    Sexual abuse. I have no idea. I’ve never been in his bedroom. I’ve never met anyone in real life abused. I never heard of such thing as ‘hearsay’ in real life, only in internet.

    What else?

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  93. Yes Headmaster;)

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  94. Can we have less of the schoolyard taunting now please?

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  95. Im on 7 now

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  96. Day 6 and the tension is mounting.

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  97. They’re probaby having a meeting to brain-storm it..and see what line they can give “bellaB” to come up with next. You’d think if they wanted to do voluntary work they could come up with something better than this. Not really benefitting beings now is it?

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  98. Cult mystery! Where is bellaB?

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  99. 5 days, and counting. Where are you?

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  100. Still very quiet isnt it? Could it be that we have found the fundamental flaw in bella’s stance? She/he claims that we should not believe anything we read about SR because it’s all hearsay and that if we want to know ‘the truth’ we should go to Rigpa and meet him (oops! In fact, many of us already have). She is forthright in her condemnation of MF, her experience of the latter being based on………hearsay! Has she/he ever met MF?No! However, while it is perfectly acceptable for her to form judgments about MF based on hearsay and a complete lack of personal encounter, she/h condemns all here for believing what we do about SR, because it is based on hearsay and (the mistaken belief in ) a complete lack of personal encounter. Methinks the lady doth protest too much! You have yet to respond to this issue Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms B-whats the matter? Cat got your tongue? Please explain this double standard and how you justify your position in light of such.

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  101. What I find interesting is how a certain contributor has attempted to undermine SRs critics by claiming their criticisms are invalid hearsay. Where did the critical information about those critics come from? Hearsay! So, is hearsay good enough or not?

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  102. thread

    Despite emotions running high and some nasty comments being made, it still has to be acknowledged that this thread has presented some insights not usually seen.

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  103. So come on bella,have you or have you not met M Finigan? If not. what are the sources upon which you base your opinions of her and how do you establish the authority of those resources? Is it the opinions of others, or stuff youve read on the internet? Please. do tell.

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  104. Disclaimer:
    I should just clarify that DI did not get the dossier from Mary, but from our Buddhist consultant who Mary does not know. So you are barking up the wrong tree in referring to her.
    Wait till she speaks for herself and you will realise you are outside the loop. You are too close to be able to comment.

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  105. PS I have met both MF and SR. I wouldnt trust either of them (as Im sure she’d be the first to agree)

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  106. Sorry. you didnt answer my point. The stuff you list is only the stuff about porn, booze etc. You do not mention the most important point and the thing that MF IS primarily talking about, the sexual abuse via misuse of position and ritualised promise. I ask again, have you ever met MF/Do you know her? If you do not, then all your words are as empty as you would have others believe hers to be.

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  107. No, it’s based on her own talk on this very site. Maybe you didn’t read carefully enough. Pay attention to words like: cigars, porn, alcohol, no practice, financial abuse… If you’ve chosen your side following MF, it’s pointless to argue with me. I don’t know her and the stuff I read here indicates me that she has no clue about what is going on in Rigpa. Sadly she cannot go see things for herself there since older students would recognize her. I’m sure she was welcome to Rigpa but I think she herself would be too ashamed to go there. I don’t know what she thinks about the idea. I think it would be good to go.

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  108. ‘I have many reasons to doubt MF’s talk in general.’ Why? Do you have a dossier on her? How many witnesses do you have? Can you be sure their testimony is true? I mean, I wouldnt believe it if I hadnt seen it to be true myself……..You cant trust the testimony of others, after all.Surely, it cant be hearsay-bellaB wouldnt trust hearsay after all. So, does she know MF, or is ‘her’ vision’ based in the testimony of others.

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  109. If CHILDREN lie, should an adult person – who is supposed to be a Buddhist and calling out for dharma to be ‘clean’ – lie?

    I have followed this conversation a couple of months now. I have no idea what is inside MF’s dossiers. If I say, “IF the stories in MF’s dossier are true”, I don’t mean I have evidence of their truthfullness nor it means I’ve decided suddenly to believe / disbelieve stories. I have many reasons to doubt MF’s talk in general.

    If you were around long time, maybe instead of just banging me on the head with insults you could show your intelligence by talking about the issue. I’ve replied many times to personal attacks already. I don’t think this is interesting and I don’t think it’s interesting for anybody else (but yourself). So, back to business. Tell us your view on the events you’ve seen.

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  110. DNFTT

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  111. ‘My mission here is to correct things that I KNOW to be lies.’ Goodness, before you said you didnt know about any of these things, then you said, even if they did happen it was all a long time ago (So the holocaust doesnt matter anymore?) And now you are correcting things you know to be lies! So thats three viewpoints already, not to mention other suspect perspectives you have demonstrated.
    THEN….
    ‘Might be that the things in her dossier are true, but then it’s not good for the issue if ‘the messanger’ is dishonest. ‘
    So, they are NOT lies! Changed view again? And ‘If the messenger is dishonest, we cannot believe anything they say? Wakey, wakey, children tell lies but that doesnt mean everything they say is untrue. Obviously.
    AND…Since I and people in Rigpa know SR (unlike many of you here) we can laugh at her comments …, but you instead can only rely on her words’
    Sorry bella-‘We’ (many of the people here) are ex students of SR and have seen thigns going on first hand BEFORE newbies like yourself came along and everything went underground. So we DO know SR and we HAVE seen him behave like this.
    The messenger is not the weakest link here-you are.

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  112. Well, Belladonna, if it’s YOU who knows it all, then fine.

    My mission here is to correct things that I KNOW to be lies.

    If you didn’t follow the whole conversation, then I’ll tell you again why I criticize MF/Pema (the main holder of the ‘fact dossier’) is that she is lying about some details in her talk. That is slander. If the main holder and the accuser on the subject is somebody, who is capable and also self-righteously willing to talk bullshit on the side, one can definitely question the rest of her sayings. Just read back. Might be that the things in her dossier are true, but then it’s not good for the issue if ‘the messanger’ is dishonest. Since I and people in Rigpa know SR (unlike many of you here) we can laught at her comments (on cigars, drinking, finance abuse, porn), but you instead can only rely on her words. And it seriously makes me sad that if the women were abused, the messanger is the weak link here – and if the women were not abused, SR and thousands of people in Rigpa have to suffer on her account.

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  113. blah ,blah, blah Michael Jackson, blah, blah blah Sogyal Rinpoche OOOH I get it. Before we all thought MJ was a child molester but now he’s dead (?) we all realise how nasty and bad we were to judge him and his accusers were all liars. And so we should think SR is exactly the same? Is that what you want us to think?
    Well yes, MJ and SR both settled out of court (though Michael wasnt violent allegedly), And both have been subjected to repeated allegations (though SR wins hands down here!). Moreover, just as, because MJ sang songs like Thriller and Billie Jean, he cant possibly have done those things, SR cant possibly hve done any of those things because he talks about Buddhism. Yest it all fits-how blind we have all been. I shouldve twigged it when, after hearing that MJ bleached his skin, SR started darkening his remaining hairs. How foolish we have all been. SR is actually an international superstar.

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  114. Please do not feed the trolls.

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  115. Hey bella
    You are a RIGPA plant, clearly put here to disrupt activities and distract from the real issue. Your presence should be accompanied by an official warning of your mission and your tactics, Bella is not a legitimate contributor since all she/he does is condemn others and deny the validity of their opinions. It is clear to some of us that bella’s presence is a deliberate tactic aimed at stifling criticism by devaluing the present medium by lowering the intellectual tone of its content…Troll means something new on the internet-look it up.

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  116. Your opinion. My friend thinks that the argumentation against SR is so stupid that no one will believe it anyway. His opinion. We can rest it_again_.

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  117. You could, but you will look silly and disingenuous for the reasons mentioned above.

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  118. So, it’s clear. And I can talk about false accusations (such as MJ) related to this stuff (sexual abuse). I don’t need to defend myself all the time, because it’s not about me.

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  119. You are correct – this is not about you.

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  120. Case of study issue? I could also decide to call you a clear case of blind belief and forming solid images of people whom you’ve never met. But I don’t really enjoy – at the end of the day – the personal attacks, so…

    Do you really live so strongly in the internet that you take at face value things?

    You may find people on this site talking whatever. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. It seems that not many people are writing their testimonies here. It’s soon 1 year when this started or was it longer?

    Never mind your opinion on me. This isn’t about me.

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  121. You are correct about one thing, namely that you are not being clever. You clearly have no intention of taking on board the testimony and comments that people on this board have provided. Transparent derails are transparent.

    You do not know my opinion. From what I have seen I do think there is truth to the allegations been made, and a forum such as this allows victims to both tell their story and to get in touch with people who can either help them or are in a similar situation. Why you feel the need to incessantly try to derail is becoming increasingly obvious.

    You clearly cannot tolerate the existence of a board like this. You are clearly trying to pick fights with people (with Mary being you most common target of choice). You have given your opinion. While I find you a fascinating case study on this issue I do not really intend to suffer you lightly.

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  122. I’m not being clever. This is serious business, and it wouldn’t come to my mind ‘being superficially clever’. I just want to point out that nothing so far was proved, was it? What makes you themadhair so sure about your opinion? Did you ever met anybody from Rigpa or the abused?

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  123. I know you think you are being clever with your analogy, but given the total and utter lack of personal testimonies of a comparable nature to SR you are failing somewhat.

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  124. I also thought that M. Jackson was a pedophile. I didn’t know him. It was pretty easy to believe because MANY people said so for many years. I was quite sure about it. Was that fair for M.J?

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  125. Why are you trying to equate a single instance of lying with multiple personal testimonies of abuse? Might sound good as a piece of rhetoric, but it is extremely disingenuous.

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  126. Did somebody ever lie about a person you know? Did it EVER happen?

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  127. Until you can really proove something to me, I’m a non-believer of stories by…

    Odd that I find this same theme with creationists, Von Dänikenites, flat earthers, moon hoaxers, chemtrailers, zero point energy supporters, etc.

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  128. Isn’t it interesting that Michael Jackson was accused of pedophilia for decades? Are these FBI reports correct? M. Jackson was innocent? There were just a few people who wanted to get money from him?
    http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/jackson_michael.htm

    Until you can really proove something to me, I’m a non-believer of stories by MF.

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  129. Poor you, if you belong to one such cult. Can you honestly think that you don’t?

    I don’t care about your ramblings either, so you can also just leave: please? (I didn’t notice you bringing any INTERESTING ideas to conversation, just swear words.)

    I’m not going anywhere, but like I said earlier on I don’t care about SR conversations (not my business), but if I see a factual error, I do correct, if I happen to know. If you cannot live with that, I can’t see how you can pursue a dzogchen path, if your level of endurance is so low. You don’t need to attack me personally.

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  130. You are ‘conversating’. In ‘conversation’ two individuals communicate. Conversating is obviously the name for when someone talks and nobody wants to listen. (Your the one nobody wants to listen to, BTW)
    If you missed my previous posts, be assured they were rude, beligerent and thoroughly incisive. Now, *** off and stop wasting ours time and your own.Nobody is interested in listening to the brainwashed ramblings of an insider 9except as a classic example of cult behavior of course)

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  131. The Loan Arranger, HI!
    I didn’t go anywhere. Or I did for a while – and so missed your comments that are removed. Your comments hardly would make me go away…
    I said I would follow, but not conversate.

    About bad language… one could only read comments posted by Pema/MF… but she uses her own language, and obviously no-one can help her see that.

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  132. Please do. More so, could you please keep us all posted on upcoming publications (nudge, nudge) It is long past time for the s**t to hit the fan methinks.
    keep up the good work hairy vinaigrette.

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  133. I agree that DI has navigated hitherto uncharted waters re Sogyal. I migrated here from RR when this started to happen. A similar phenomenon in French is taking place simultaneously on the Les Trois Mondes blog — which is also not pre-moderated. I thank Mike Garde at DI for providing this platform and sustaining it through its less edifying moments. It has been very helpful for me. I do however, prefer pre-moderated boards. There is a different atmosphere — although I have to say some pretty challenging stuff does get through. I have nothing more to add re Sogyal for the moment. I will update on RR if anything develops and will post a link here.

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  134. Well, I actually think the status quo functions well, After i chose, consciously, to use very unpleasant language, bella left. (Hi!) The comments were removed (as I thought would happen) but not before our old friend had read them beforehand and responded (or not) in accord with our wishes. So bella has gone and by unacceptable language has gone. Thus, madhairs policy has led us back to a situation more acceptable to all of us. Sure, post on RR if anyone pleases. Do though be ware that DI have done some sterling work in raising public awareness of the debacle which is Sogyal Rinpoche’s Dharma career. I only hope this page continues to function in that manner. I think it safe to say DI achieved more in the last 12 months apropos Sogyal than any other site or medium. For that, all contributors should give themselves a pat on the back-What some perceive as gossip may well have saved others from numerous nightmarish experiences at the hands of one of the world’s leading Tibetan charlatans.Oh, sorry, lamas.

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  135. The following comments are probably going to make me a little unpopular with some but I feel this needs to be said.

    I happily accept ‘nuisances’ like bellaB and Trini over the isolation information bubble that comes from over-moderation. Regardless of what you think of these people, they do hold and express different points of view and provide a unique opportunity to observe a rare mindset in action. I do not care if they express their views bluntly, I do care if their views are accurate and I do not care if they express their views in bad faith. None of these things should hold any power over me, and they should not hold any power over you either.

    When moderating any forum the question of balancing free speech against acceptable behaviour is a tough one. As a general rule I side with free speech and endeavour to avoid sterilising an entire discussion simply because some participants find certain comments offensive/off-topic. It can be tough to ignore personal insults, but the reward for persevering can be worth it. This thread is a fascinating look into a rarely-seen phenomenon, and an illustration of what victims of SR may have to deal with when they speak out.

    Maybe I just have thicker skin?

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  136. I have decided not to post here again but if there is anything new re Sogyal that is worth passing on I will post at http://www.rickross.com There is a search facility on that site which will take you to the Sogyal thread. The reason I am doing this is because Rick Ross moderates all posts before they appear on the site, so nuisances like the one we have had to endure here– bad language and off topic comments do not appear.

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  137. Well, it looks like bella has gone, though it took some pretty distasteful language to dispel her (his?) influence.Like the man said, one even uses dog fat…
    Please, can we get back to the story of Sogyal now? Any observations? Anyone have any further personal experiences? I’d love to know. Sogyal would love the world not to.

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  138. One even uses dog fat if it cures the wound

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  139. Comment removed.

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  140. Comment removed. We do not want that type of comment on this blog.

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  141. Your mind is so closed you wouldn’t believe anything anyway. I thought buddhism was meant to make your mind bigger-it’s made yours smaller. Wish on.
    I wish you well.

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  142. And Kapasi note also that I responded to the slander by Pema in this page, not your intelligence.

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  143. This was the first time I was on this page for many days (and y-day for 1 second). I’m not following this actively.

    Today I ‘poisoned’ my mind with a movie (which I look on a computer since I don’t have a tv…) called “Chocolate” (with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp). I think it’s better way to transfer my mind than following the acts of this page.

    Can you answer yourself why the teachings of SR sound more sound and intelligent than the slander about him? (I know you don’t want to meet me, but I wish we could talk outside this page. I’d like to hear the story of the woman you know. Seriously.)

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  144. You ignore my previous posts(repeatedly) and insult my intelligence. I don’t know how many times I have told you that I came to my conclusions independently, that I know someone who was abused sexually by him who I knew before she was abused and trust her testimony…but no, blabberb, you just keep trotting the same old stuff out endlessly hoping that if someone else logs on you will convince them by what you have to say. I’ve seen enough in real life that convinced me.

    I’ve also come to the conclusion you’re a bit of an internet nutter…but then so am I, to be even having this conversation with you.

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  145. Did you follow the teachings of a slimeball at some point?

    I didn’t.

    I don’t want to conversate. I wanted – also out of my own will – not to be a representative of anything. I just wished you and others asked some questions in your own private worlds (which I don’t know anything about) about accountability of ‘testimonies’ of Pema. Just ask around some place else than here. I can’t say from other people: who are they, did they really have have experienced something? It is also possible to write here under some other name a fake testimony (it’s also possible for Pema to write a collection of stories all around the internet). Consider that option too. That is all I want to say. Question and ask around (in real world).

    SR as a sex addict is completely Pema’s own fantacies. I always thought he worked so hard for dharma and Rigpa. I wonder if it was possible for him to have some other addiction than teaching and complete devotion to teaching? That is the way I have experienced him: hard working, devoting his life to dharma. I cannot even imagine some other teacher so mission oriented. To make him look like addict, addict to all forms of pleasure seems so ridigulous. I’m sure many who have met him, agree with me. And as a fact many people won’t listen to Pema simply because of the way she speaks. That is not skill of any kind. I’m sorry I have to write this, but I really feel like this.

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  146. I’m not sure why you keep banging on your feminist drum, other than to try to give yourself some credibility which you lack. It doesn’t work. Assault is assault is assault, abuse is abuse is abuse. Just because you say you say you’re a feminist doesn’t make it less so. If he buggered young boys would you still be banging your feminist drum? I think you’re disingenuous. Do you get the Peep Show in Germany?

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  147. Using ones ‘journalistic skills’ to _create_ strong bad talk is quite unskillful all in all. Just find out for yourself.

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  148. I have studied the gender studies, I have realized my pllace as a feminist – which is not radical feminist.

    “Carolee Schneemann performing Interior Scroll” = my favourite dakini. I will NOT put a direct link, since it will be removed. I wish all women to become the holders of their mind and body. I wish men the same. I’m not blinded by hatred towards men, that is one fault of some feminists. Ever heard of ‘sleeping with the enemy’ or ‘every man is a potential rapist’ -slogans? Andrea Dworkin was a great critic. Lot to think about, yes. But are you really so easily swayed to believe all that you hear? One can also without question critisize some feminists. Do you think it’s completely out of the question that a few feminists or women do hate men? Men have sometimes performed terrible things to women. I would rather ask – if I was any serious Buddhist practitioner – from SR himself for explanation before began to be a follower of Pema. Using ones ‘journalistic skills’ to great strong bad talk is quite unskillful all in all. Just find out for yourself.

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  149. Just THINK twice Kapasi the words used here!

    Next you can go to the peep show. This is surreal.

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  150. I would just like to say, that I think I speak on behalf of all women, EVERYWHERE, that we should give thanks that bellaB is a FEMINIST!!!!!!! We have cause to give praise and thanks to the wondrous bellaB for fighting abuse and injustice against women EVERYWHERE and in the 10 directions. Hallelulah! If she hadn’t of laid her cards on the table I am sure a lot of us wouldn’t be able to sleep peacefully at night, for fear of marauding LAMAS abusing young, vulenrable and pretty women. but as bellaB (SELF-DECLARED-FEMINIST) is on the case, we can rest easily, knowing she will fight injustices against women EVERYWHERE.
    AMEN

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  151. “I thought I told you to stay out of this town, kid.”
    “Please dont, dont, Leave me alone, leave me alone! Aaaaagh! (Sound of gunshot).”Tough kid. Like I told you young un, when the Cincinatti Kid is in town, the best thing you could do is stay out of it. if you could have just kept your mouth shut…”
    ‘Please hold me man, I feel so cold, i dont wanna die. Mom….mom…..” fades to end titles.
    Film (BellaB at the DI Coral) bombs at box office because of its poor content. However, despite ABSOLUTELY NO DEMAND, various badly written pieces follow..’Bella rides again’, ‘Son of Bella’ etc. Eventually however, backers realise that there is NOBODY INTERESTED IN BELLA’S STORIES and finally the plug is pulled.
    Cut to modern hospital-Scandinavian transvestite lying in hospital on life support machine. Dr Garde: “Well I dont think there is any chance of our patient ever progressing beyond this persistent speculative state.I think the time has probably now come for us to switch of his/her machine and PULL THE PLUG.
    All those in favour, say AAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE Beep….beep….beep….beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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  152. No comment-silence is golden.
    Happy Happy Happy
    don’t forget your Santa hat.
    Don’t forget you also came to a Christian site
    What has that to do with the price of eggs?

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  153. Pema, I really think the one who is sick is YOU. Try to get yourself help. (My sincere wish.) I can’t believe the words you are saying. Is it because none of the Buddhist bothered to listen to you, you switched to the Christian site? I feel really bad for you and all those people who listen to you.

    Merry Christmas! Try to enjoy a bit.

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  154. Indeed, and ‘tantric’ contradictions are the last thing that should be spearheading the Dharma’s journey to the West. Its like placing ones most powerful weapon (Dzog Chen) in the hands of an untrained adolescent with a crack habit. Only disaster can follow. Rigpa has certainly achieved much. However, its foundation is weak, like the castle on the ice lake.Because the foundation of Rigpa is Sogyal’s immorality.

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  155. Thanks For All. very succincint. Very articulate. Very accurate. HHDL spoke into my (pre-digital) recording device in 1997 about sex and spirituality, Tantra/Vajrayana. During this conversation (surreal in some respects, surrounded by robed celibates) he said he’d told Sogyal “to take a lawful wife”. Something along these lines did happen and Sogyal’s son Yeshe was the outcome. But Sogyal was never monogamous. Could one realistically expect him to be? The answer, alas, is no — because Sogyal is a sex addict. His addiction is as powerful as heroin or crack cocaine. It dominates his whole being — except for the bit that involves money. And we all know that the more we indulge, the more we crave and the more difficult it is to reach the peak, (get the high). I have said it before and I’ll say it again — Sogyal is a slimeball but he is also pathetic. In my gentler moments I feel sorry for him. But — read these words and try to relate them to Buddhism. There’s cognitive dissonance loud and clear n’est ce pas?

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  156. It was posted for so many different people. Primarily, I hope Sogyal reads it. it would be better for him to be honest and go into business according to HH. If what HH said about Sogyal should do (find himself a nice girl and settle down) is combined with the above advice Sogyal will become what he has been all along (a worldly businessman) .At least he will have grown up enough to realise that happiness isnt about how many women youve slept with, Christ, I realised that and Im a scumbag from a working class background-the name Rinpoche seems inappropriate considering even non-buddhist idiot special brew drinkers see through that one. One wonders how long Sogyal ‘Rinpoche’ would last without the (undeserved) title.

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  157. Big thanks for posting that, very helpful indeed.

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  158. http://info-buddhism.com/
    The 14th Dalai Lama on questioning the guru’s instructions

    ‘The offering of practice means always to live by the teachings of one’s guru. But what happens when the guru gives us advice that we do not wish to follow or that contradicts Dharma and reason? The yardstick must always be logical reasoning and Dharma reason. Any advice that contradicts these is to be rejected. This was said by Buddha himself. If one doubts the validity of what is being said, one should gently push the point and clear all doubts. This task becomes somewhat more sensitive in Highest Tantra, where total surrender to the guru is a prerequisite; but even here this surrender must be made only in a particular sense. If the guru points to the east and tells you to go west, there is little alternative for the student but to make a complaint. This should be done with respect and humility, however, for to show any negativity towards a teacher is not a noble way of repaying his or her kindness.

    Perception of faults in the guru should not cause us to feel disrespect, for by demonstrating faults to us the guru is actually showing us what we should abandon. At least, this is the most useful attitude for us to take. An important point here is that the disciple must have a spirit of sincere inquiry and must have clear, rather than blind, devotion.

    It is frequently said that the essence of the training in guru yoga is to cultivate the art of seeing everything the guru does as perfect. Personally I myself do not like this to be taken too far. Often we see written in the scriptures, “Every action seen as perfect.” However, this phrase must be seen in the light of Buddha Shaky-muni’s own words: “Accept my teachings only after examining them as an analyst buys gold. Accept nothing out of mere faith in me.” The problem with the practice of seeing everything the guru does as perfect is that it very easily turns to poison for both the guru and the disciple. Therefore, whenever I teach this practice, I always advocate that the tradition of “every action seen as perfect” not be stressed. Should the guru manifest unDharmic qualities or give teachings contradicting Dharma, the instruction on seeing the spiritual master as perfect must give way to reason and Dharma wisdom.

    Take myself, for example. Because many of the previous Dalai Lamas were great sages and I am said to be their reincarnation, and also because in this lifetime I give frequent religious discourses, many people place much faith in me, and in their guru yoga practice they visualize me as being a Buddha – I am also regarded by these people as their secular leader. Therefore, this teaching of “every action seen as perfect” can easily become poison for me in my relationship with my people and in my effective administration. I could think to myself, “They all see me as a buddha, and therefore will accept anything I tell them.” Too much faith and imputed purity of perception can quite easily turn things rotten. I always recommend that the teaching on seeing the guru’s actions as perfect should not be stressed in the lives of ordinary practitioners. It would be an unfortunate affair if the Buddhadharma, which is established by profound reasoning, were to have to take second place to it.

    Perhaps you will think: “The Dalai Lama has not read the Lam Rim scriptures. He does not know that there is no practice of Dharma without the guru.” I am not being disrespectful of the Lam Rim teachings. A student of the spiritual path should rely upon a teacher and should meditate on that teacher’s kindness and good qualities; but the teaching on seeing his or her actions as perfect can only be applied within the context of the Dharma as a whole and the rational approach to knowledge that it advocates. As the teachings on seeing the guru’s actions as perfect is borrowed from Highest Tantra and appears in the Lam Rim mainly to prepare the trainee for tantric practice, beginners must treat it with caution. As for spiritual teachers, if they misrepresent this precept of guru yoga in order to take advantage of naive disciples, their actions are like pouring the liquid fires of hell directly into their stomachs.

    The disciple must always keep reason and knowledge of Dharma as principal guidelines. Without this approach it is difficult to digest one’s Dharma experiences. Make a thorough examination before accepting someone as a guru, and even then follow that teacher within the conventions of reason as presented by Buddha. The teachings on seeing the guru’s actions as perfect should largely be left for the practice of Highest Tantra, wherein they take on a new meaning. One of the principal yogas in the tantric vehicle is to see the world as a mandala of great bliss and to see oneself and all others as Buddhas. Under these circumstances it becomes absurd to think that you and everyone else are Buddhas, but your guru is not!

    Actually, the more respect one is given the more humble one should become, but sometimes this principle becomes reversed. A spiritual teacher must guard himself or herself carefully and should remember the words of Lama Drom Tonpa, “Use respect shown to you as a cause for humility.” This is the teacher’s responsibility. The student has the responsibility of using wisdom in his or her demonstration of faith and respect.

    A problem is that we usually only observe those teachings that feed our delusions and ignore those that would overcome them. This leniency can easily lead to one’s downfall. This is why I say that the teaching on seeing all the guru’s actions as perfect can be a poison. Many sectarian problems in Tibet were born and nourished by it.

    The First Dalai Lama wrote, “The true spiritual master looks upon all living beings with thoughts of love and shows respect to teachers of all traditions alike. Such a one only harms delusion, the enemy within.” The different traditions have arisen principally as branches of skillful methods for trainees of varying capacities. If we take an aspect of their teachings, such as the precept of “all actions seen as perfect,” and use it for sectarian purposes, how have we repaid the past masters for their kindness in giving and transmitting Dharma? Have we not disgraced them? If we misunderstand and mispractice their teachings, it will hardly please them. Similarly, it is meritorious for a lama to perform rituals or give initiations to benefit people, but if his or her motivation is only material benefit, that person would be better off going into business instead. Using the mask of Dharma to exploit people is a great harm.

    We erect elaborate altars and make extensive pilgrimages, but better than these is to remember Buddha’s teachings: “Never create any negative action; always create goodness; aim all practices at cultivating the mind.” When our practice increases delusion, negativity and disturbed states of mind, we know that something is wrong.

    It is sometimes said that a major cause of the decline of Buddhism in India eight hundred years ago was the practice of Vajrayana by unqualified people, and sectarianism caused by corruption within the Sangha. Anyone teaching Tibetan Buddhism should keep this in mind when they refer to the precept, “every action of the guru is to be seen as perfect.” This is an extremely dangerous teaching, particularly for beginners.

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  159. If I didn’t know any better and wasn’t slightly high on paint fumes right about now, I may have been tempted to suggest that it appears some folks miss someone….

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  160. Pema is armed and ready to attack…

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  161. Don’t tempt fate…

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  162. Is it over? Can we come out yet?

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  163. Im with you Kaptain, I always found the internet a little too voyeuristic and to watch someone crack up online is a bit pornographic. Voyeurism and porn? No thanks; slightly too unhealthy.
    At some point in this, i too suggested B go back to Rigpa and get on with practice (Im sure she’ll keep them ‘occupied’) My hope is that somewhere in Rigpa someone will realise that B needs something more than just Dharma-couselling, therapy whatever. It certainly is not what we are supposed to be doing here (in fact, we are only dealing with the resultant symptoms, not the underlying causes) I am sure that amongst the many sincere people at Rigpa someone will be able to help (though trained help is needed, not just niceness)
    As ive said before, Bella has shown us so many things about Rigpa, blind devotion, cultism, obsessive behaviour. Clearly, not all of these are to do with SR and Rigpa, though there is the problem that the multi faceted ‘problem’ could be exacerbated if not handled extremely skilfully-Is SR the man for the job??I hope so!
    Another internet addict

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  164. Repeat of last post.

    For all,
    I suggest nothing new is addressed to her, as it’s like oxygen to her. If she continues I am beginning to think blocking her is the only answer. Either that, or watch her undergo a breakdown online…I don’t think we need wait that long. If you enjoy that sort of thing. Personally, I don”t.

    Kapasi, on November 16th, 2009 at 8:42 am Said:

    >Bella -by trying to help you, what I meant was trying to help you understand what people are saying…but I have come to the conclusion, it doesn’t work-which is fine. You have your fixed position on it, and the dialogue with you is frustrating as it leads precisely nowhere and is, as I said up thread, a collossal waste of time.

    Bella, this is my last post to you, as I now believe you need to seek your answers and help off-line. I will tell you two things only, yes I do know someone was sexually abused by Sogyal Rinpoche, and secondly, no I don’t know Pema. I can understand your upset at what she has to say, and the way she says it. However, if you bothered to read even half of what has been said on the other pages, you would find out for yourself, the reasons I came to my own decision on this, regardless of Pema.
    I think you have made your own mind up, but you just want to get everyone to shut up about it. It won’t happen….so your best bet is to leave this site, seek out Rigpa sangha members and get on with your practice. This is a serious derailment, and you are effectively, self-harming, by posting here continuosly, in my opinion.

    I wish you well, but I repeat, this is my final post to you. Please, Bella, seek help -I think this is less about Sogyal Rinpoche and more about internet addiction. Bye, Bella.

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  165. And the definition of adolescent is……….
    Funny how lamas say one thing in public and another in private..

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  166. Last words to Pema: I’m sorry I can’t avoid the irony of this all, but your dearest lama Namkhai Norbu is good friends with SR. I just heard that they recently exchanged teachings in Italy. SR thought for NN’s students despite your recommendations. Maybe you could ask NN for advice on your mission? But then again some might call you a member of a cult, if you followed your lama’s advice. I’m obviously less of a cult member since I didn’t follow my lama’s advice to ignore this stuff.

    I sincerely hope you’ll find some light and happiness on your path. It’s too hard for any individual to drag a load of guilt and stuff for decades. I do wish happiness and freedom to you.

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  167. For all = Dialogueireland

    Good luck!

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  168. Hey! 39 minutes! Not omniscient, but not bad!

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  169. 5:54-7:05=1 hour 9 minutes-49 minutes out;bah!

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  170. Thank you for your prayers. You cannot use your brain enough to evaluate things, For all, but I wish you all the best…

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  171. Leave her be now, really.

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  172. I’d say no more than half an hour, at best-a day at the most.
    BBYYYYYEEEEE!

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  173. You do more to damn him than even his greatest critics

    Sssshhh!

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  174. Okay. I leave my post as the only lonely (unofficial) representative of Rigpa. My post is open for the next courageous Rigpa student. I hope he/she will be more qualified than me, knows much more and is able to explain things much better (and in English).

    I would rather read somebody else’s trials to defend many sided conversation. But I will be here following these pages. If I see something that I really think is grossly false information, I will say it. So, I can’t say I’m gone, even if you don’t hear from me. But I really hope somebody else more knowledgeable will come to speak their mind. It’s hard to receive the hate that stems from events that have nothing to do with you.

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  175. keep it up bella. Youre one of the finest adverts for why people shouldnt devote themselves to SR Ive ever come across. You are truly textbook, exhibiting all of the characteristics experts attribute to cult/NRM members. You are a fantastic example of how things can go so badly wrong, as well as how easy it is to dupe Joe Public and newcomers into believing the official party line. In short, my dear, if you think this page is damaging for SR and his prefabricated holy world, take a look at your own writings-You do more to damn him than even his greatest critics (However, all that is about to change). Thank you bella, for giving us all the opprotunity to actually examine a cult member at close quarters. Im sure everyone here prays for you.

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  176. Think how many people here have addressed all their comments simply to me? I’m the only one at the moment who is sort of speaking from the other point of view. themadhair I must say that you cannot very well determ if somebody’s post hold actual facts, slander etc. since you don’t know SR and Rigpa. You probably don’t even know MF, even though many people in Rigpa might have loads to say about her which might surprice you.

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  177. 173 messages over three months is obsessive to say the least bellaB. I’m only at 107 and those go back to February. Mary is only at 71 (47 as Pema and 24 under her real name). Kapasi comes in at 83. The other major commenter comes in at 102.

    The problem is that there are only so many ways you can deny or disagree with a viewpoint/argument/claim/criticism before it begins to simply stifle discussion. And there are only so many ways you can stifle a discussion before it becomes clear that your goal is to stifle that aforementioned discussion. If you simply cannot accept that certain criticisms exist bellaB then why are you here?

    For people on these threads this discussion presents an opportunity to share information and to make contacts. Since you seem utterly and irrevocably determined to stifle/derail/distract at every opportunity, and are seemingly looking for ‘flame war’ as it were, then it does raise the questions of why you are here and what value you have to any discussion. The why seems to be inability to cope with not simply the existence of criticism, but the very existence of a medium through which information you disagree with is disseminated. Any value seems to have been added in your first 40 or so posts, with the remainder being reiterations of the same theme but with different rhetoric and tactics.

    But the irony to all this is that such discussion and spreading of information will carry on regardless. It is simply not possible to prevent such, but it is possible to set a terrible example and a bad advertisement of the viewpoint you wish to defend at all costs. And it is this that I encourage to consider bellaB before you continue digging into obsession.

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  178. Kapasi, poor you. You are allowed to say stuff directed towards me, but I can’t defend myself or say things that I know to be contradictory to your impressions about dakinis etc.

    And if you have Kapasi decided to go off your way from Rigpa then why continue following this page?

    I stay up all night just to write here? You know my internet is on almost 12 hours per day. I do other things than follow this page. Don’t bother clear up your slander… you seem an expert on that, fantacizing a bit, since you don’t have anymore factual things to say. Mostly I’m not angry, like you.

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  179. Words are all we have here. When someone persistently ignores what you say. eg. “This is my last post to ….” or “I will not be answering personal questions from…..” and they are totally ignored by ……, which is why I came to make such statementsin the first place, then the resulting dialogue leads to frustration. The other person is simply not receiving what is being said. So respect goes, especially when the same point is repeated ad nauseum. Either, the person really does have comprehension problems, or is willfully demanding attention that is being denied to them.

    Out of thousands of students of SR, we have just one person who has been posting endlessly…I find that odd. I think it is just one person, who is seriously hurt by accusations read here. Fair enough, argue the toss, but at some point most people would at least respect the others point of view is different to theirs, respect too that women who have the info are not likely to tell said person, and those that do know more than her, are unlikely to betray confidences. At some point, most people would decide one way or another what they are goiing to do about it…but not bellaB. I believe, this is not really about Rigpa or even SR..it’s all about her. Her ego is so angry she stays up at night posting about it. We’ve all been subjected to her musings, her teachings and her pain….and we’re all bored rigid. Her words have little value, she has said she’s going and she’s stayed, she’s said SR wasn’t abusive, and then said ‘if he was’…her words now are just empty casings of meaningless rubbish. They leave you with the option to scroll down. I doubt she’ll get exhausted, she thrives on it…I know full well this post will see several in return, all appealing to me. Not a good advert for Rigpa. I am suprised her friend hasn’t told her to get the off line. But please, let her carry on..it reminds me why I made the right decision.

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  180. I accept critisim. That is completely different from outright slander.

    I’m not part of some inner circle in Rigpa.

    I have never met anybody abused by SR. You say that you have come to know such persons. I’ve asked details, because if all of this is on a level of vague “I heard somebody said this about a person they met/saw once from a distance”.. or .. “I know a group of 30 women circling around him…” The accusations are pretty SERIOUS – I think we can all agree on that. Therefore I would like everybody to be specific.

    Then it happened that after a long time I spoke with a close friend of mine in Rigpa and he told me what they have openly discussed this subject in France. Main point in the message is that they haven’t experienced SR harming anybody and that he has helped many people. That is also my own experience, so who am I likely to believe?

    a) Pema whose words sound really alien to me about SR. It sounds like she is talking about some other person, the interpretation and the image painted is so strange.

    b) D. Side, whom I’ve personally met and spoken about other quite deep issues for an hour at some point.

    I’m more likely to believe D. Side, whom I know a little, but much more than Pema, who is just some name in the internet. D. Side is also talking in a way that is not brutal or low, but respectful and kind towards everybody.

    If Kapasi is a former student in Rigpa I’m more likely to think that she speaks about reality, because I can relate to her interpretation a bit more than Pema’s. But Kapasi misinterpretes my messages continuosly, why I’m wondering if it’s purposeful or that she is just so angry that she can’t read or even think that I would write something calm and not trying to provoke anything (like my last response to her long message: I really can’t see why she gets angry about my message – no, I don’t get it).

    Kapasi is also all the time criticizing me (Pema does that too, but that is no surprice), but if I say the same to her, she is SO offended. It’s almost like some kindergarten playground: we are not playing with bellaB and everything she says is ‘evil minded’, but WE instead are RIGHT and have a reason to be offended.

    If some abuse of women have existed or still is existing then I have to face with that. But I don’t accept some demonizing and painting some horror picture (all those beautiful women and all that money…), especially if I can see that the facts don’t hold. If someone is offended that I put my own input into the overall image, then be offended. You are not 100% right about everything in life, so have some humility there.

    Ask Philip or Mauro where the money in Rigpa is going. I believe there are charity to the monasterios and all kinds of things (constructing and repairing buildings) that the money finds it’s way to. Where do you think the money is going to? Alcohol? Cigars? Sex? How pathetic are you going to get?

    I would like to say that the only provocative sentence in my writing is the last one before this one, if it’s not clear to somebody.

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  181. I too am bored with BellaB to the point where I no longer read his/her/their posts. But I think themadhair has a fair point and I accept that so long as the majority of participants can keep their focus and their cool, we should go along with things as they stand for a bit longer.

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  182. isnt anyone just plain bored with the obvious insanity of the person? I mean sure, its a great advert for the benefits of following SR (for Germans-thats a joke) but it is so mind numbingly boring listening to the same old s$$T.

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  183. Well said, themadhair

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  184. This is not denial of free speech, it is a withdrawal of the right to engage in the continuous abusing the DI site with propagandist soapboxing.

    I am in two minds about this. On these threads everybody is getting a peek into a mindset that is not only unable to accept criticism of their group leader, but is also unable to tolerate or accept that such criticism even exists. To see played out in realtime a morphing from mere disagreement to a reaching for any and all means of distraction and discrediting, coupled with an utter inability to let the subject matter go, is a real rarity.

    On some issues you get talk of ‘handlers’ or ‘plants’ or ‘professional defendants’ for a particular group. Such folks are talked about in hush tones as if they were the bogeymen. They really aren’t anything like as you can see with how the thread has played out.

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  185. Pema, just ignore your own mistakes and slander.

    If I’ve said I don’t approve of the use of female students, so am I somehow different in that area? If those stories are true I’m going to ask somebody in Rigpa for explanations. I just wished Pema, who has the f***ing dossier to do her job.

    If I have thought that women also have their own share in the picture, then I’m silly? Rape and assault are different things than unsuccessful relationships. Am I the only one who also asks if women in general are not only victims but also an active counterpart. If they fail to create rules for their relationships and demand equanimity already in the beginning, are they simply victims? If they are so taken by the attention a lama gives them that they forget their own needs, then that’s their mistake. Understandable one, but also their own responsability. If the male gender doesn’t understand women, then it’s the responsability of women to TEACH them and not just go along.

    I also think that the benefit of all this conversation is that women would become a bit more alert and aware in encaging themselves in sexual relationships with Tibetan lamas or men in general. What I’ve learnt through my life that it’s pretty difficult for the male gender to put themselves in the place of women. For some it’s not difficult, but I’m afraid it’s the minority. Why else 80% of women are against prostitution and something like less than 40% of men are against it?

    I have spent enough time in my life being angry at men and the world for the bad treatment of women. I just don’t have the energy anymore. Should I carry the anger still for another 10 years – are you then happy?

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  186. I would like DI to regulate his/her activities too. Unless anything new is said I see no reason for her carbon copy posts. This is not denial of free speech, it is a withdrawal of the right to engage in the continuous abusing the DI site with propagandist soapboxing.
    We are here to share knowledge and experience-his her purpose is simply to deny and ridicule any content which subjects SR to the spotlight of proper appraisal and analysis. DI offers a site for the former, not the latter. Should we tolerate the intolerant? I think not.

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  187. OK. Steady the buffs. Bella’s agenda is now clear. She in here as a terminator. Whether she’s one silly cow or several sillys cows amalgamated makes no difference. The only way to deal with her is to ignore her completely. Totally. Utterly. I am also askiing Mike at DI to deal with her in his capacity as moderator of this site. The next accusation against Rigpa could be denial of free speech.

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  188. For Pema and Kaptain Asi “If other women have been abused that is another matter and I’m sorry for them. ” Here, yet another in a long line of implicit/explicit admissions that abuse DID take place, from someone who considers themselves close to SR. Makes you think; if close students who deny that abuse ever took place keep slipping up again and again and again, making it clear that they actually DO believe abuse took place….
    For bella:
    Goodbye-ee, Goodbye-ee,
    Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee
    Tho’ it’s hard to part, I know,
    I’ll be tickled to death to go,
    Don’t cry-ee, don’t sigh-ee,
    There’s a silver lining in the sky-ee!
    Bon Soir, old thing! Cheerio! Chin-Chin,
    Nah-Poo, Toodle-oo, Goodbye-ee (F%$£ off!)

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  189. Well, you seem to know if something happened. I’ve never met anyone in real life who would have been harmed by SR.

    Kapasi, don’t misinterpret things AGAIN: I haven’t said that your story is untrue, have I? If those dakinis (which are 3) haven’t been abused so why hint that they have been abused, especially if you don’t know it for a fact? If other women have been abused that is another matter and I’m sorry for them. Just don’t mix things into a one big mess.

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  190. “If SR has done harm on some areas it doesn’t mean everything is ‘evil’. ”
    yet another admission from SRs staunch supporter that the abuse DID take place

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  191. “Poor Dakinis, who have never had any sexual relationship to a lama to be called abused without any evidence of the abuse. But that shouldn’t be mentioned here, since SR has abused every single woman in Rigpa or better say in the whole world.”

    Pure whitewash again. Pretty words though.

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  192. So, a For all -‘Buddhist’ wants to demonize everything?

    If there are shades of gray in between the black and white, so those shades can or should be brought into the view. Nothing is as boring as blind slander without explanation. If SR has done harm on some areas it doesn’t mean everything is ‘evil’. Bare that in mind if you call yourself a Buddhist.

    Poor Dakinis, who have never had any sexual relationship to a lama to be called abused without any evidence of the abuse. But that shouldn’t be mentioned here, since SR has abused every single woman in Rigpa or better say in the whole world.

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  193. They are meant for you. Please stop it, you are very boring and very sad and surely prove huge weaknesses rather than truths. Go away! BYE BYE! what was the term? ‘Psychic vampires’? Out vile spot!

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  194. For all, get yourself a brain. Go and throw swearwords on some site that’s meant for them.

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  195. PS the law suit idea is really good. I wonder why Rigpa havent already pursued that course of action against their detractors. Oh no I dont, I know exactly why. Dont you? Actually, dont answer that PLEASE!

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  196. Bye bye, Auf wiedersehn, Bon soir, Ciao, Kali Pe ah, Namaste, F%%% Off! What part of that dont you understand? You are one very sick individual and if that is what SR has done for you, he ought to be had up under the trades descriptions act. Dharma supposedly produces sanity-for you, it has become an extension of your madness. Please, feel free to call yourself a disciple of SR, but DONT whatever you do call yourself a follower of the Dharma. if you were representative of the power of the Buddha;s teaching, there clearly wouldnt be any chance for any of us-we’re doomed, I tell you, doomed!!!!!!!!!!!

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  197. For all, you can just close the page if you want to be alone.

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  198. For all,

    if you read my comments on NKT, you’ll see I’m also critical towards them. You can put stuff in the Wikipedia: that’s not representing the truth for me.

    I’m mainly against
    a) general all encompassing slander
    b) believing all the gossip in the internet without doubt
    c) abuse of women in the whole world

    I don’t enjoy hearing strange stories about a person I do respect; therefore I’m asking a complete story and no hints only:
    a complete story will turn my heart and also make me believe the writer. The bad side in a 3rd person’s story is that it’s mainly just angry, but doesn’t convey the story, just some details. Then it’s hard analyse if there is truth in it or is it just some ‘invented story’ to cause more turmoil.

    Best thing would be if this story telling in the internet would stop and there was some radical movement, like law suit where everything would be dealt by the parties involved. SR, MF and women who didn’t enjoy their experience. The whole story doesn’t really have anything to do with me or many thousands of other memebers of Rigpa.

    Keeping up a huge building, the temple in France takes up some money. SR helps many monasteries in India, maybe elsewhere too. I’ve visited some. They are really poor places, no luxury there.

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  199. AGAIN leave us alone. Don’t answer back, You have nothing new to say. Go away NOW!

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  200. uh Kapasi said; “I will not be answering personal questions from BellaB on the matter-”
    Pema doesnt want your insights, I have a full list. None of us require anything from you. DI have said thanks but no thanks. We are only here to help those whose ears are open. Please leave us alone and move on. Peace and a merry tirthikafest.

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  201. Kapasi,

    I thought you thought well in your long post earlier here. Was I criticizing it? No. So, I think you misunderstand my postings completely. I only responded to the stuff I thought differently about.

    There were different parts in your own post:
    a) your friend
    b) dakinis
    c) humiliation

    I commented mainly on b) and c). If I have another view on the things than you, can’t I say it? If those subjects mingle in your mind as one single entity then of course you’ll think I’m against you?

    Where was I trying to convert you? You were in Rigpa from your own will, you left Rigpa because you wanted. Earlier on I asked you to think twice if you believed the stories in the internet, but then I didn’t know about your own experience (or that you actually in real world know someone who felt hurt by SR). I myself don’t know anybody hurt by SR. You can have your own experiences and opinions. I can have mine. But – according to you – yours are the only valid ones?

    If you write a long story about humiliation and how it feels for you and I write a different approach, how it feels for me and somebody I know, who has been a direct object for the SR’s ‘treat’, then I’m sent to h*** by you? When there was a rule that only your point of view was valid? Stay in your own universe, if you like.

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  202. dear bella, none of the mails apart from this one are for you , You have said your piece, Now please leave us alone to work out the way forward. Thank you for your contribution.Goodbye from everyone here.Peace be with you.
    PS Wikipedia is not all knowing-when it comes to cults and cultidh behaviour, it is sadly the realm of ‘last man standing wins’ Maybe your talents would be better suited there, deleting any critical material as soon as it appears-like the NKT and the FWBO do. Good company you’d be keeping?!! At least youll have the confidence that your colleagues have trodden that path before you. Common cause and all that. Bye-please go away, dont come back f%%% off (sorry but needs must)

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  203. Pema, humour doesn’t necessarily translate on the net…thanks for clarifying what you thought was sick. I felt more and more, that yes, the culture is sick. Sadly, bellaB’s numerous postings, as sole rep for Rigpa culture here, add to that feeling.

    For all, what do you mean when you say:
    “Though my own earlier experience was as if I was the last one left, everyone else having gone to the pure lands, the SR experience was just like some slimeball screwed my mate’s girlfriend”
    I also came to feel it was more and more about money…the getting of it. Even if the getting of it, is to give it to HHDL, the ever increasing expansion of Rigpa, does seem to be questionable. Pema, you say:
    “By the time they leave they will have poured a sizeable amount of their hard-earned cash into Rigpa’s already bulging coffers.”
    This is true, but the demands for more cash, never stop.

    bellaB says:
    “Could you tell if that happened in France or in Ireland?” once again making me believe she doesn’t read what is said by people here.As I said up thread:
    “I will not be answering personal questions from BellaB on the matter-”

    I think bellaB would be better suited to the Jehovah’s -she could go round knocking on peoples doors and trying to convert them. One of the things attractive about buddhism was that there was little attempt to convert others. Unfortunately, some like, bellaB, never learnt that, and never give up proselytising.
    Yawn, yawn.

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  204. The all knowing Wikipedia:

    Judith Simmer-Brown points out that:

    The dakini, in her various guises, serves as each of the Three Roots. She may be a human guru, a vajra master who transmits the Vajrayana teachings to her disciples and joins them in samaya commitments. The wisdom dakini may be a yidam, a meditational deity; female deity yogas such as Vajrayogini are common in Tibetan Buddhism. Or she may be a protector; the wisdom dakinis have special power and responsibility to protect the integrity of oral transmissions[1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakini

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  205. “About the woman who felt being abused by SR. I don’t know what to say except that I’m sorry. ”

    What’s so strange about my response, Kapasi?

    “It was in effect, a sexual assault.” Yeah, you didn’t say that at first. Sounds really strange, but what could I know? I’ve never heard stuff like that about him except here. Could you tell if that happened in France or in Ireland?

    About the ‘humiliation’: ask someone who is one of those trained: how do they feel and response to it? My friend never felt bad, but he is a bit stronger character than most people. SR hasn’t humiliated him one bit.

    The dakinis: one of them is the daughter of the shrink in the 3 year retreat. I know she wouldn’t allow abuse of her daughter. The dakinis are there for guidance not sex.

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  206. Interesting exchanges.
    Kapasi: I meant the Rigpa culture is sick, not all individuals involved. Sorry if that was not clear.
    Little fat man — oh come on — sense of humour deficit?
    I doubt very much if occasional jibes and the odd burst of robust language would put off anyone who genuinely wants to tell their tale for the sake of the greater good. It has not done so far — although I do a mea culpa if feelings have been hurt.
    For all: you are right — it is all and only about money. That is the sole reason for Rigpa’s existence. Some people may benefit from an introduction to Sogyal’s brand of Buddhism-lite and as Kapasi points out, then move on elsewhere — mostly it seems to Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. By the time they leave they will have poured a sizeable amount of their hard-earned cash into Rigpa’s already bulging coffers.

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  207. Everything you say is bang on K. The thing about ‘Working with students’ is so true. i guess the divide is the line between Western culture and Tibetan. I have happily submitted to ritual humiliation in the past (and continue to do so in my relationship with my teacher, who love me dearly. I even lost a girlfriend to high Gelug (!) teacher-but I knew that what was happening was the Tibetan world’s version of the path. I was hurt, but i did not feel he abused the relationship because i had complete confidence in his enlightenment.
    With Soggy, Im not so sure. He definitely came on at a number of women I knew (even someone from a group that was ‘doing research’ on him) and for sure, he screwed up a close friends relationship by sleeping with his g’friend after her being involved for a matter of weeks (v pretty girl). Though my own earlier experience was as if I was the last one left, everyone else having gone to the pure lands, the SR experience was just like some slimeball screwed my mate’s girlfriend. It sucked because, it confirmed rumours Id come across repeatedly (‘blessings’? No thanks)
    In truth, the answer is its all about money.

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  208. I would add that the woman was not seeking a sexual r/ship with SR, at anytime. Infact, had gone out of her way to avoid any possible advances. It was unasked for and shocking. It was in effect, a sexual assault. No doubt bellaB will try to obfuscate and distract.

    Very interesting response from bellaB. I am beginning to think Pema might be barking up the right tree re bB when she says:

    4. I wonder if Bella B is a composite? A character dreamed up in desperation by Rigpa poodles trying to neutralise the effects of bad PR? A crisis management chimera?
    There must be a whole department within Rigpa dedicated to spin doctoring — they spew out so much of it.

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  209. One thing I would say about ‘humiliation’. Mostly the students trust SR and if you are criticized by SR for work that you’ve done, it’s easy to accept the critisism and not be torn by it, when you know that you are anyway accepted and cared for. If that criticism came from someone you don’t trust, then it might feel offensive. For me the best teacher in my studies that I have known was such: I knew the teacher appreciated me and therefore wanted to correct me so that I would do it better.

    I think it’s also ok to do the guiding publicly, so there isn’t any “manipulation or bizarre stuff” happening behind some closed doors. Everybody can hear what is said. But all this requires inner trust in SR. When there is that trust one can be opened up emotionally and still feel the care and love from SR. One can see the futility of these defence mechanisms. A friend of mine is one of those trained students and mostly he deserves both the criticism and support SR gives him. I don’t think he would start that training until the student is ready for it.

    About dakinis. I know some of the dakinis through stories by my friend. The point in the dakinis is not sex. He constantly asks publicly advice from the women. His style is all the time being fluid and present in the teachings. Sometimes stuff comes into his mind and then suddenly in the middle of the sentence he asks one of the women if he should talk about it. Once I remember a talk about his son and his past life. He asked if he should tell us the students the story and the oldest dakini said ‘no’.

    About the woman who felt being abused by SR. I don’t know what to say except that I’m sorry. The best thing about this talk is that women question truly their own desire to be a lover for a lama. I myself am more frightened by such thought than drawn into such relationship. I cannot even imagine myself in her place since I see him more as the deity Vajrakilaya than any male.

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  210. N.B. Before bellaB tries to distract everyone about how it all happened 20 yrs ago, I must add I wasn’t around then and this is much more recent. I will not be answering personal questions from BellaB on the matter-but the woman I know was abused within the last 5 yrs.

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  211. N.b. I am talking about recently ie within the last 5 yrs.

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  212. I don’t think this matter is so black and white as either Pema or bB would have it. I disagree with Pema when she says all Rigpa students are sick or whatever. I also think comments like that instantly alienate a lot of people who perhaps think that all the stuff around SR may have some truth in it. I do dislike the blissed out zombiefied appearance of some of the students who follow SR, and I do think he manages to establish a different r/ship with his students to that of other gurus/teachers. It is maintained he is is the only one who will work with his students in the West, and how fortunate they are. Unfortunately, this business of working with his students does have the appearance to the outsider of ritual humiliation in front of other students. For newcomers, after one of these events, it is explained by an older student that the person in question has given permission for SR to teach them. What looks like humiliation or aggression on the part of SR towards said student, they explain, is for the students good, and infact the student on the receiving end of this treatment is full of gratitude and even bliss towards SR. After a while, one can become immune to these ‘teachings’ i.e. for the one watching him teach his closest students, in front of a large gathering. If you stick around, what did appear like humiliation just looks normal. Ego-taming. It was this aspect that began to bother me. At what point, do you stand up and object to this behaviour, that is enacted out publicly? If you have been around for more than a few years, you don’t. Most students fall in line and think how lucky said student is to be on receiving end of SR’s wrath (which is really just compassion). Does the end justify the means? I didn’t think so, judging by his closest disciples.

    As for the sexual charges…again, the rumours fly around and what you see -lots of pretty young women, dressed up to the nines catering to his needs. What his needs are, you don’t ask. Some women, who are on the outside of this inner circle of beauties, feel jealous that they are not one of them. Some will even approach him publicly and ask to be his dakini. He rejects them, saying he picks his own dakinis. This, some say, is proof, that he is not guilty of the said rumours of sexual misconduct. I was not convinced. I saw him one time reproaching one pretty young woman for having not taken up some offer at some previous time. His anger was apparent.

    A lot of people think it is none of their business, what he does in his sexual life, and they say, some women, who approach him yearn for a sexual r/ship-so if that’s what they get, they can’t then complain. For most students who don’t give him permission to teach them intimately, they have little personal contact. So, why should they care about Pema’s claims ? They are in it for the teachings of which he is the carrier. He is charismatic, funny, charming, loveable…lots of wonderful qualities are displayed alongside the other more questionable ones. What he does in his private life is his business.

    Like many women caught in r/ships with abusive men, they love them, for they seem to be more alive, more vivid than other men. The downside is the abuse. They stay, feeling loved, especially when they are singled out for abuse…it shows them how much he cares.

    You have to almost have lived with an abusive male, and got out, to know how much SR falls into this stereotype, and also, that of sexual predator.It is difficult to see it when you are in it. You do fall into believing this is normal, that those students he blasts are privileged, that this is all how it should be under a Master, and within the Tibetan buddhist tradition. Look at what Milarepa experienced..there are examples from the buddhist teachings of Masters beating students and they get enlightened . It’s all there. You can’t argue with it.

    For doubters like myself, you have to really get clear about what you will accept in the name of spirituality. Either you accept it all, hook, line and sinker and put it all down to the Masters greatness, or to Vajrayana, and follow or you get out. A lot get out, move on, find other teachers, put it behind them. Respect what they received from him and leave. Thousands of students come and go, they are not all mad or sick…they take what they need and leave. SR does open the door to buddhist teachings for many, many people,in the West and I don’t think that should be discounted.

    I dislike Pema’s calling him a fat little man etc. I don’t think it does her any favours, and people who might have something to say, won’t come forward, I suspect, for that reason. For a woman abused why would she speak to a journalist who believes all Rigpa people to be sick? I wish, Pema, you would tone down your personal dislike…it doesn’t advance what you have to say. I suspect those who would like to come forward, may not for that reason. The abused woman is generally vilified in any case, so why make it more difficult for them.

    I will end, by saying, I know one woman who was sexually abused by SR. It confirmed what I had guessed..but the content of it, was much more more sordid that I could have guessed. I knew the woman before it happened…and I know she is a level headed, strong woman, not the sort of vulnerable, damaged woman that is generally conceived by press and public. Moreover, I know she didn’t ‘ask for it’.

    My concern is that these people who are affected-and it is not just women, but those related to them, are being turned off buddhism and teachings. Their spiritual life is effectively sabotaged. I hope Tibetan Buddhism won’t go the same way as Catholicism, and cover up abusive teachers, in positions of power, for the sake of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a shame if people’s welfare is placed second to wealth and privilege. I think it caused me to really question what spirituality means…when what is being offered looks increasingly materialistic, paradoxically.

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  213. I was also thinking the logic of the accusations.

    Why MF didn’t make a law suit together with many other women already years ago? Maybe 20 years ago all this would prevent stuff from happening, if ‘stuff’ happened. Why wait until now when SR is 60 years old or so? When any man’s capaity for sexual performance is pretty poor and therefore less threatening? :D

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  214. Did anyone else notice how bellas last mail had no spelling mistkes/gross gramatical errors? Sudden change, what? I wonder what that indicates;)
    Pema, apparently, ‘your ‘testimony’ at least partially is all SLANDER’. ‘At least partially is all’???????????? Quite mad.

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  215. Yes folks, if anyone doubts the benefits of following a virtuous spiritual master, one well subdued in body, speech and mind (Sorry, Western Buddhist stereotyping), bellaB is clear evidence of the great benefits this can bring, except its when some of the important qualities might be missing. The resultant corresponding holes are obvious, raising the question as to how far should one maintain pure view of the teacher, when it is potentially damaging for the self and the dharma. Does maintaining pure view take precedence over relative reality? SOunds like a complete suspension of judgement-of which there are both pros and cons-What do you think? (THIS IS NOT A QUESTION FOR BELLA WHO DOESNT VISIT THIS SITE ANYMORE, ANYWAY………I forgot! Hi Soggy!)

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  216. And you yourself sound like an extremely intelligent journalist.

    So, I’m sure you can have witnesses of around 30-100 women – like it seems – to testify? Maybe you can share the bill?

    I’m tired of your talk, and I’m sure many are.

    – SR watches porn, smokes cigars, drinks alcohol, doesn’t practice… -> Most adults today have watched porn at some point, SR doesn’t smoke nor he drinks alcohol (he can’t, he said) – and he does practice every day. In tsok we don’t drink alcohol (and our guts out), since SR has ordered everybody to drink apple juice, so that the former alcoholics wouldn’t be swayed back into the drinking. He has shown the nature of mind to many students, so your evaluation about his spiritual abilities is false.

    So your ‘testimony’ at least partially is all SLANDER, but I guess you learnt that in the journalist school? If your jounalistic ‘ethics’ allow you to talk bullshit even partially, why should anyone listen to you?

    If you are sure to win, go to court, take a loan, since your high goal is to destroy SR and save women around the world.

    Think if you went to court 20 years ago, you didn’t need to do all this today. Think if you invested the 20% of your work time to inform people about islam and the daily abuse of women, it might have benefitted much more. But of course you might be living in isolation because of threats to your life.

    Thanks to SR I became a Buddhist in the first place. Thanks to SR I have ever believed Buddhist praticies to be valid at all. If he never taught, I don’t think I nor many others would be Buddhists today. So why don’t you deal with the personal bullshit like it should be dealt with: in court, if you can’t have an interview from him to your ‘news article’? If I was SR I wouldn’t either accept to be interviewed by you… it’s just a feeling.

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  217. Was that Freudian slip?:….ho ho ho —

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  218. Many have said it, but I’ll say it again and then end my Sunday morning fun. Bella is stark, staring mad. A truly imrpessive example of the benefits of ‘spirtual’ practice Rugpa style.

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  219. Well, should Rigpa then spend retreat fee money from the students in order to go to court? The employees of Rigpa have probably less income than you or I.

    If you are sure to win, then isn’t it so that you end up not paying? Perhaps the legal system is different in my country. Go to the police and ask them to make a case with your testimony.

    I’m just really fed up listening to crap about D. Side, myself and Rigpa students. Do you think any of us are standing in SR’s bedroom watching his private activities?

    If those stories are like 20 years old, they might not be valid in court anymore. If the stories are new, perhaps ‘abuse’ cannot be proved? I’m sure that not all the women are so traumatised that they cannot witness in court for you?

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  220. Er Bella — which planet do you live on? Go to court? Where did you get the idea that I could afford to employ lawyers? I am a journalist Bella, not an investment banker. Suggest you call your local attorney and ask how much it costs to mount a libel action.

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  221. Why don’t YOU yourself go to court with your ‘dossier’? Save us rest from the bad talk and Rigpa people are this and that. We are no different from the majority of the population on the planet.

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  222. I engage minimally with Bella B but must make a few points:
    1. I have repeatedly asked Sogyal for an interview. All requests have been ignored.
    2. I devote roughly 20 per cent of my WORKING life to this issue.
    3. As I have previously pointed out , WRITTEN allegations which are proved to be unture are LIBEL, not slander. Others have speculated here as to why Sogyal and Rigpa have never sued. Not once, not ever — since the sordid details of his abusive sex life started to appear on the internet, print and broadcast media in 1994.
    4. I wonder if Bella B is a composite? A character dreamed up in desperation by Rigpa poodles trying to neutralise the effects of bad PR? A crisis management chimera?
    There must be a whole department within Rigpa dedicated to spin doctoring — they spew out so much of it.

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  223. This a deeply serious comment. It is full of authority and clear logic. It shows a totally dispassionate stance.
    Hello Bella B we are really so persuaded by your position. We will all go and ask SR about what he did.
    Sure see you after Christmas, keep up the good work.

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  224. RESPONSABILITY

    The subject of the slander and gossip has nothing to do with me.

    It has nothing to do with Rigpa people, Dominique Side and the rest.

    Mary Finnigan, you have been actively propagating and gossiping world wide through the internet about the issue.

    The only responsible act you can do is to face SR yourself and ask questions and explanations.

    This issue has NOTHING to do with me or any other person or organization. MF you must talk to the one you accuse. This sneaking behind corners, spying, gossiping and propagating slander is so IMMATURE business.

    You want to earn a lot of money with a publication – or what? Talk to the accused (- and: cut the c…)

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  225. I wonder why you Kapasi, Pema and the rest are here? Curiosity?

    Why I would be any different from you? Except I question your solidifying ideas. That is simply the reason why I’m annoying to you. I don’t agree. Gotta be some stubbornness. SR has many times said that Rigpa people can’t be manipulated, because even if it was for their own good, they are too stubborn to change. I guess we are not the best cult material.

    I’ve been ‘here’ for a few weeks now. Pema has given her life for this story…. A load to drag on ones shoulder… indeed.

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  226. Im sure her antics are one of the few positives SR and his puppets can see here.(Hi Soggy:) Hows it goin?!!!**)Poor woman-As they say, so much to do, so little time.Bless her on her journey (away from here in particular).

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  227. Yes, For all, agreed. Sadly, she probably has this effect on people IRL. When someone constantly wants to be the focus of attention, it does get somewhat tedious. If she had something to say, it would be fine. If you read between the line I would guess Rigpa people suffer her, as she says:

    “Like I said: I rather hang out with other people – even Rigpa people are better company.”

    I doubt she’ll go, she enjoys the attention too much.

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  228. I share your feelings and your expletives. But I know that the more you feed the vampire, the more she wants to be fed. Addiction to punishment seems to be a Rigpa characteristic. I wonder who are the role models? Anyone like to hazard a guess? Could they be Sogyal’s submissive houries? Or people like Dominique Side who appear to enjoy public humiliation? And who is the nasty little sadist who browbeats them into submission under the pretext of taming their egos? The whole Rigpa scene is so thoroughly sick I have to say it does arouse some pity in me. People who are taken in by the propaganda line are deeply sad and urgently need help.

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  229. Where I come from, if you say goodbye to someone and they hang on forever and ever, you employ slightly different language to make the break,However, morality prevents me from using such foul language. So, to put it another way, can I ask is there anybody here who is STILL interested in bellaB’s una-musings? As far as I am concerned, no thanks.He/she can f** right off (please?For the sake of others?) Anybody else share my opinion? (If not my penchant for expletives)

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  230. Demonizing is wisdom.

    I said goodbye once when I felt hurt by you people here. But I heal fast and got over it.

    I really would wait for a publication from a researcher with testimonies that can be verified.

    If you Pema have spies in Rigpa, why don’t you go there yourself with the large dossier of evidence and talk? Slander is sooo cheap.

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  231. Thanks er To Pema. It is always a pleasure to read articulate common sense.
    Especially when a boring Rigpa robot keeps saying goodbye while refusing to go away. A shining example of Soggy’s wisdom and compassion — especially the wisdom?

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  232. Go–d -ye
    Goo– -b-e
    BellaB or C-A
    Listen to my new mantra. We must not comment on our own blog
    Listen to my new mantra. We must not comment on our own blog
    Do you use lever brother products where you live?
    Omo, surf, Dazz, Persil wash whiter than snow.
    Morning has broken like etc
    right brain, right brain… Switch off the left-over drive new bulb.
    Get it?

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  233. It is always tragic when someone who has acted immorally is publicly exposed, for no being is evil, and all of our sufferings are but our own karma. However, when someone who has harmed you or those around you is finally exposed, a sense of relief arises for you know then that fewer will suffer that particular indignity again, in the future. Sogyal’s personal life looks painfully tragic for all the good he may have done, but pity should not prevent virtuous proactive moves to expose such hypocrisy, particularly since there are those who seek to hide them.

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  234. Do you enjoy this?

    Thinking of people who have found deep meaning for their lives in dharma and in the teachings of Sogyal Rinpoche… and you getting some kind of revenge and enjoyment of it? How compassionate is that?

    But I wonder whose talk in the end is touching people’s hearts?

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  235. Little birds have been twittering in the trees recently…it seems Rigpa has the collywobbles re this blog and others, but especially that dratted nuisance Pema. Seems that the party faithful in France were summoned to a meeting in Paris where poodle-in-chief Dominque Side regaled them with a massive dose of spin. Her aim, one gathers, was to refute all tesitimony that bears any resemblance to the truth regarding that creepy little fat man Sogyal Lakar, who poses as qualified Tibetan lama. It is reassuring to know that the Rigpa hierarchy is worried. There’s no doubt at all that Pema will keep on rattling the cage.

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  236. Please, make the last the last.

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  237. How many times have you said goodbye bella?

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  238. bella B, on November 13th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    That is why I would say not to trust this site one bit. I would rather hang out with other type of people. In Rigpa nobody has EVER harmed me, so no need to worry for me.

    GOOD bye!

    bellaB, on November 13th, 2009 at 10:39 am Said:

    Nobody manipulates me into anything, not even this page with the gossip slander. I will find out for myself in REAL life.

    I’m gone from here for good now. Like I said: I rather hang out with other people – even Rigpa people are better company.

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  239. maybe you could Kapasi think if you ever got something from Rigpa since you were there for years… did any piece of your heart crack open at some point? why it’s easy for you to believe all what you read without questioning? maybe your ‘connection’ to SR was quite superficial if it’s so easy. I’m just thinking to myself… about closing the heart.

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  240. There’s a slogan sometimes used, to describe an easy way of being with others…’takes no hostages’. This was to differentiate between the people who seem to take hostages. Bella b is a good example of someone who does take hostages. People literally have to run to get rid of her. Sad really.

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  241. Why do YOU as the creator of the pages even try to take part of the ‘dialogue’? Your endless goodbyes dedicated especially to me seem hilarious, and a bit stupid too. Sorry.

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  242. I can see that fear against all kinds of groups (except the church) is great.
    Perhaps you missed we have one of the greatest sex abuse problems in the world.
    Just look at abuse as category, we are covering it totally. It happens in every group.
    Take your advice, In my own experience it’s best to stand up fore oneself – that is empowering, not running away.
    I suggest you let SR do that as well. Have you ever run a marathon? I suggest you try it, might be easier than commenting endlessly.
    Perhaps you dialogueireland don’t even understand what a dialogue and openness mean?
    Do you mean opening my mouth endlessly, I am dialogueing with you endlessly, but it is time to say good bye…….

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  243. “dialogueireland, on December 10th, 2009 at 3:52 pm Said:

    Good bye BellaB good bye.”

    Goodbye DI goodbye.

    “Have you got a job as Minister for Foreign Affairs in Rigpa?”

    Yes, I do actually. :) (joke) What is your job? I can see that fear against all kinds of groups (except the church) is great. The amount of fearsom cults seem to grow on these pages. Like if you start looking into things in every situation between any people, you will find *something* abusive. Oh, how many abusive bosses there are everywhere you look in the world! YOUR best bet is to leave quietly or stir a bit of conversation before you go? I think it’s best to TALK – and not suffer in silence feeling like a victim and pity oneself. What advice would you personally give to Whatever? Going to spend whole lot of money in therapy or face up to and defend oneself against wrong doing? In my own experience it’s best to stand up fore oneself – that is empowering, not running away. SR has compassion and understanding, I’m sure.

    Perhaps you dialogueireland don’t even understand what a dialogue and openness mean?

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  244. snigger

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  245. Good bye BellaB good bye.
    Have you got a job as Minister for Foreign Affairs in Rigpa?

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  246. Whatever, I don’t know how you left Rigpa and what was the exact story, but I think it’s best if you try to talk most openly to SR yourself about the problems and how you are feeling. I don’t think people in Rigpa are all the same. Maybe you just didn’t find the right person to talk to. I always think twice to whom I speak out my issues. People are just people – and some by nature are more understanding than others.

    Mostly I think openness (open talk) to SR himself would help you the most.

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  247. Hey Whatever, Be careful with the so called Buddhists who push themselves into your field of vision while you are in recovery. I personally spent a long time just being, applying the basic Buddhist principles with which i was familiar to my life before choosing to re-engage with another organization. Problem is, th most prominent groups, who clearly have recruitment as a central goal, usually have more skeletons in their closet than the Khmer Rouge.
    In particular, the FWBO, the NKT and SGI (if you can call chanting for money Buddhism???) all seem to have trails of damaged ex members in their wakes.So, beware of strangers bearing gifts.
    I found my way by stumbling upon a relatively small Tibetan group with a very orthodox lama who wasn’t at all interested in expansion. Happily for his students, the community is now growing (though I still keep my distance and stay out of the business side).
    Remember, always investigate before engaging-the internet is a powerful tool and if you just key in the names of organizations with other words like cult, abuse, or scandal, if there is any dirt it will soon show up. Of course, if there is only a little,then it could be an axe grinder. However, if page after page after page shows up, youve found, yet another, dodgy Western Buddhist group.

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  248. Dear Whatever,
    Every time I read or hear a testimony like yours, another bit of my heart breaks. For people like you who have suffered and for the dharma, which is being exploited and polluted. Thank you for your honesty and your courage. I would very much like to be in touch with you. I don’t want to put my email address directly onto this forum but go to my web site http://www.maryfinnigan.co.uk and you will find it. Yes, there is a realistic chance of taking Sogyal out of circulation. It is long overdue. It has taken me 14 years to assemble enough evidence to make it worth having a go. I am glad you are in a less traumatic stage of your recovery and I wish you health, wealth and happiness.

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  249. Dear Pema,
    I was a Rigpa Member for several years and I can approve almost everything which you and most of the other posters commented on Sogyals behaviour. I too was in a relationship which was manipulated by Sogyal and the “caring” mentors and older students. I don´t want to go into detail here and now as it probably would not add anything to the facts listed in all those comments and to the things you already know (I am sure it is much more than I know). I just want to say that Rigpa/Sogyal have hurt me more than I can describe and the last couple of years since I`ve left Rigpa have been the absolutely hell for me. It totally destroyed my faith in spiritual teachers and to some extentd Buddhism and after trying to go with a diffrent buddhist tradition and teacher I found out that I just can`t ! (At least not yet). I´m getting better now after doing therapy and getting a lot of help I´ve thankfully received. I just would like you to know that I really hope that your book is coming out soon and that it will do some justice to all those who have been hurt by this organisation. I hope so badly that it will help take Sogyal out of business. Do you really think there are any realistic chances that this will happen? I totally understand if you do not want to comment on that in this forum but maybe I can contact you some other way? I would be glad if you could give me some hope!
    Thank you

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  250. Nice old videos:

    http://www.trettin-tv.de/videogalerie.html

    Dzongsar Khyentse on dzogchen practice:
    http://www.trettin-tv.de/dzongsar1.mpg

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  251. Does the dzogchen practice show in: “cut the crap” -comments? In one particular group it’s a daily comment. Are they self-confident people or are they just people who don’t give a shit about other people? Arrogant, I mean? Not really friendly and warm. I noticed a good friend of mine change into one: before very warm and caring – now an arrogant bastard. Somehow I really don’t like the person anymore.

    I’ve met a few so called dzogchen practitoners – and I would call them more like personality disorder types. Cold.

    SR knows very well what a nature of mind means. Already in his ordinary teachings one can ‘get’ dzogchen ‘lite’, if you want to call it that way. Once or twice it happened in a public talk that he just showed a new audience the nature of mind – and people could FEEL it. Huge change in the audience. I think he is fishing people from the ocean of samsara.

    I don’t think SR teaches dzogchen to just anybody: the pit instructions I mean. He was Nyoshul Khen’s student though, so I bet he has received it all. Some Rigpa students also got dzogchen teachings from another lama in Nepal.

    I think SR is a dzogchen master, mostly that manifests in everyday teachings. I wasn’t in 3 year retreat so I didn’t receive the teachings. I’m still a ngöndro student and don’t even pretend to be more.

    Usually when I hear somebody calling themselves dzogchen practitioners, I burst out laughing. I think it’s the first sign of arrogance and feeling of self-importance – quite the contrary to the real dzogchen practitioner! :D

    How can one recognize a dzogchen pratitioner? From which qualities?

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  252. Sogyal Lakar knows diddly squat about Dzogchen from direct personal experience. He parrots material from a wide variety of sources. I guess as Enough Already points out, its OK if you are into dharma-lite — a minestrone of mysticism and psych-babble — but for anyone who has been in contact with a true Dzogchen master it is gnats piss.

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  253. So your teacher is a Dzog Chen ‘master’ but youre not a Dzog Chen practitioner. Hmmmm..

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  254. SR = dzoghen teacher. Maybe that explains his silence and effective daily work to do what he is supposed to do (teach etc.). I’m no dzogchen practitioner.

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  255. There seems to be a lot of rather 20th century self/psycho analysis in your path. Going into the problem and trying to sort it out like this bears little resemblance to the Dzog Chen approach which cuts the problem at its very root, without entry into unnecessary speculation.
    As the yogi and scholar Nagarjuna said ; It is better to not have the itch than to have the pleasure of scratching it’.
    Relax

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  256. I don’t understand the need for lying because it’s so freeing to be real. I feel like in mental cage if I lie. I think it’s a question of weather you’ve learnt in your family to be yourself or to hide – if you were accepted as you were, then there’s no need for lies.

    is this essential question in this thread? I’m just (also) tired to discuss.

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  257. You have never understood liars because in some families not everything is talked about openly. I see no connection between the two parts of this statement???

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  258. So I made a mistake. The text was also written in a completely different way than yours here.

    I don’t know any financial abuse.

    Some of the stories in American Buddha sound very much exaggerating. For me it seems that in the early days – according to those stories – those women weren’t even his students exactly. I have known many men who behave in bad manner, so for me it’s not especially ‘shocking’. Not any of them were my boyfriends, just random people. Rapists are another chapter.

    One thing I would also like to say that I think Pema Zangmo was the only one reflecting her own role in the ‘play’: she admits that she was clearly looking for lamas as her partners. I think it’s not so uncommon in the Western women to have fantasies about lamas (and likewise “I’m a highly realized dakini” – fantasy about themselves). For me it’s quite obvious there will be disappointments, since ‘men are only men’ and ‘wonmen only women’ after all. In one group where a young monk is teaching, many young females have grushes on him.

    I just heard a teaching from 1998 by SR where he said openly (- in his style: he admits weaknesses of his own, so no need to create a monster here, he is a real human being -) that in the early years it was difficult for him to understand Western emotions. It must be the same for many Tibetans and Asians. Cultural differencies are quite great in between us and them. Differences in between families among the Western people are also great: in my family everything is talked about openly, but in many families not. That is one reason I have never understood liars.

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  259. Dear BellaB, Thank you for your generous words. Your instinct that all may not be what it seems on American Buddha is correct. The words attributed to me are not my experience. The confusion dates back to the pre-blog era, when opinions on a huge range of topics were shared on Usenet. I posted there about Sogyal around the time of the Janice Doe lawsuit. One of the women, known as Nicky Skye, who Sogyal had abused tried unsuccessfully to join in the debate. Her problem was a lack of a home internet connection. I offered to post her material for her and made it absolutely clear that I was doing this. Usenet was/is a bear garden with people sniping at each other in highly aggressive terms. One of these people is a woman called Tara Carreon who runs American Buddha. She lifted the Nicky Skye material posted under my name and put it on Am-Budh. She attributed it to me. I tried every which way to make her understand the error and correct it, but she refused. Her husband Charles is a lawyer specialising in internet issues. Several other people also tried to persude the Carreons to correct this error, but they would not budge. I can state categorically that I have never had any form of sexual contact with Sogyal. I do not let personal issues cloud my journalistic judgtement. Journalists are trained to be very careful in this area. This is not to say that we cannot adopt an issue and campaign for change — but if there is any hint of a personal agenda in the way we do this it neutralises the message. You must know by now that there is an overwhelming body of evidence on Sogyal’s sexual and financial abuses. I have a personal interest by virtue of the fact that I launched him on his career. Also because I am a practising Tibetan Buddhist, I cherish the dharma and feel motivated to do what I can to keep it clean.

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  260. Pema, I read your story in the American-Buddha. If your story is true, and I don’t really have any real reason not to believe it, I’m very sorry for you. I DO understand your suffering. I’m also a woman and have had various experiences with men (not lamas). I was never assaulted, because I could resist the attemps (by Western males when I was young, 18 and 19), but I have been lied to by weak men, when I was young. Then I opened my eyes.

    I’m sorry I have spoken so harsly to you. But your words seemed un-true to me (so far from my own experiences of SR). They still do, here, but I do hear what you are writing in the other site. I don’t want to say something wrong, nasty or anything bad or insulting to you, but I feel that it would be best to try to find help for you to heal from traumatic events.

    I have myself been angry to Western society about the pornographic environment young women have to grow (also me in my youth) and how women are STILL taught to give their own (sexual) power and will to men. Porn is the perfect guide for that – and that is how young people grow: watching it from the internet. I have myself been thinking and feeling a lot of pain because of my youth and done some therapy in order to let go of my pain. One must do that – for the sake of one’s heart and love. I was also once in love with a Tibetan man, a buddhist man, and learnt through knowing him the differences between our cultures.

    You may not believe that but I do feel love, also when I think about Sogyal Rinpoche. I don’t want to tell you my experiences in retreats, because I’m told to be cuckoo by others here. I have been thinking a LOT about this issue on many retreats – and I believe strongly that SR can read minds: or else he wouldn’t answer my unspoken questions so often… (It happens to others too). Like I’ve said in the previous posts my spiritual relationship to him is very personal. I see exceptionally strong dreams on retreats about him. In some dreams I have received my answer to my questions about sexual abuse -issues. It’s a difficult question to ask in public. I believe he KNOWS – at least TODAY – the right from wrong. I’m sorry that I (again) must sound unrealistic or idealistic in my view of him (at least to you), but I’m sure he is aware of your pain – and mine too (even though it was not caused by him).

    I hope in your heart you could forgive him one day – or at least get over the pain somehow. It is possible, I believe, because I have also turned a new page in my life by facing first my own pain. I’m not saying it’s easy.

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  261. Yes Sogyal is one bad egg — but it has to be said that within the Tibetan diaspora there are others. But nowhere near of the same magnitude. ‘Coward’ — Buddhadharma is indeed wonderful and there are many excellent, ethical, incorruptable teachers , some high profile, others carrying on quietly, minus the glamour, the glitz, the fanfares and the ncessant demands for money that are clearly visible on all Rigpa web sites.

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  262. Bye!!!

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  263. Your opinion.

    You can think that you do a favor for humanity, but I disagree.

    Even if SR or anybody tried to use me, I’m old enough to defend myself. I know for sure he wouldn’t. I just know it. I’ve been there forn long periods, unlike you.

    Nobody manipulates me into anything, not even this page with the gossip slander. I will find out for myself in REAL life.

    I’m gone from here for good now. Like I said: I rather hang out with other people – even Rigpa people are better company.

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  264. B’ I… have experienced enough good in people to have learnt to trust them and to be real myself. Then the manipulative …………… (fill in blank) behaved in an abusive manner by abusing my open (or generous) nature. And now you decide to do that same to me yourselves.’

    Nobody is abusing you-rather, you are placing yourself in a situation where there has been repeated abuse and you clearly, by your own admission, have ‘abuse’ karma-one doesnt need to be a buddha to see that.This is potentially a recipe for disaster.

    Think for a moment; maybe these people are trying to protect others from abuse.Does that not work for you?

    Wouldnt the world be a better place if those who try to protect others from abuse were listened to?

    Dharma is wonderful-never loose it. Sogyal? He’s one bad egg.

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  265. I think that Kapasi and Hidehi, Pema etc. are very careful not mention any single thing about themselves. On the other hand it’s wise, since you get a load of shit on your head, if you do that. On the other hand is coward. We are all humans.

    How do you know my karma? Only an enlightened being can know that.

    Yes, I think there are many manipulative people in the world. Journalists together with politicians are the no 1 professionals.

    And why the journalist did that to me? Because I’m generally open (not a coward) and have experienced enough good in people to have learnt to trust them and to be real myself. Then the manipulative journalist behaved in an abusive manner by abusing my open (or generous) nature. And now you decide to do that same to me yourselves.

    I would REALLY recommend people (and Pema if she has the guts) to go to Rigpa to see the reality for themselves. I do recognize abusive language – and it doesn’t come from SR, it comes from MF.

    That is why I would say not to trust this site one bit. I would rather hang out with other type of people. In Rigpa nobody has EVER harmed me, so no need to worry for me.

    GOOD bye!

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  266. HideHi,
    If you feel like connecting privately with me please leave me a private message on http://www.rickross.com I post there (infrequently) as Blue Dakini. Oh and just to reassure you — the Sogyal investigation is not a laboratory experiment…….

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  267. Gosh Bella
    Havent you read any of the stuff on these pages? All the questions you ask are answered repeatedly.

    I really DO recommend the article mentioned in the post previous, You are clearly in deep denial.

    I dont think you’d know an elephant even if it stood on your foot (and said ‘Hello, I’m an elephant’)

    Your response? “Show me the evidence”

    PS your story about the journalist (I believe theyve started using them in lab experiments because there are somethings even rats wont do).
    “I really felt he liked me and understood me. A few days later I read the ’story’ in the newspaper. The man totally twisted all my words, the info was not accurate ” is very, very telling and only confirms suspicions vis a vis naivety and gullibility-your one of the innocents. You also have abuse karma…..and youve walked into the lions den.
    I am sure I am not alone in fearing for you.

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  268. Kapasi, which one are you from those categories? I don’t belong to any.

    * Abused Children
    * Battered/Abused Women
    * Prisoners of War
    * Cult Members
    * Incest Victims
    * Criminal Hostage Situations
    * Concentration Camp Prisoners
    * Controlling/Intimidating Relationships

    I’ve managed to avoid violent men. I’m too strong physically – they avoid me. My father wouldn’t harm an insect.

    What’s your story then? Gone to Rigpa – and then what?

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  269. Kapasi hits the nail on the head with the link above. The item about the Stockholm Syndrome contains bullet points which accurately define the stateof mind of young women who are groomed as Sogyal’s “attendants”
    * The presence of a perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat
    * The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim
    * Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser
    * The perceived inability to escape the situation

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  270. Which image of Mary Magdalene is the correct one? The one the priests rumoured for centuries (prostitute) or the one found in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene (the best student who understood completely)?

    http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

    Moderator edit
    Noody picture removed. Keep it clean.
    End moderator edit

    http://www.logoi.com/pastimages/mary_magdalene.html

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  271. Once I was interview by a ‘journalist’. He created this very comfortable atmosphere and made me talk to him personally (not about this issue). I thought it was good – I really felt he liked me and understood me. A few days later I read the ‘story’ in the newspaper. The man totally twisted all my words, the info was not accurate – and he had painted an image of me that was so out of reality, I couldn’t believe. It was a horror story – and in it I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. In reality I’m not and I had told a completely different story to him. That is how a ‘clever’ imbecile journalist works. I’ve never been a true believer of newspapers from thereafter.

    Then I called the main editor of the paper and he said they are sorry. They could publish an announcement that the story was false, but then that would highlight the story and draw more attention. I didn’t want that. But the next year the person was no longer doing interviews for the paper.

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  272. Aha, where did you meet the person who was ‘abused’? What did the person tell you? Exact words? What were the circumstances? What has SR said and done to her exactly? When did that happen?

    Which book?

    Which people have said the same thing has happened to them? What exactly has happened and when?

    Be specific. No generalizations. I already ‘know’ the generalizations.

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  273. 99%? Yeah, a friend of mine said 96% of statistics were made up too! (Being of germanic origin, that might take a while)
    Did I ever meet anyone abused by SR? Yes.
    Did I read stuff on the internet? Yes.
    Did I read it in the papers? Yes.
    Did others mention the same thing had happened to them? Yes.
    Have people written in books about it (and remained unsued)? Yes.
    Did someone get paid money to hush things up?Yes.
    Is this person’s behavior well known amongst Buddhists?Yes.
    try the duck test; if it swims like a duck and looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, its probably a duck!
    Quack!………………Cuckoo!

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  274. Did I ever met anyone abused by SR? No.

    Did I read stuff in the internet? Yes.

    I haven’t read details about Hitler, since I’m not interested in wars. I assume at some point that it was a choice between join him or die. In SR case it’s not a question of joining under any threat. SR is not teaching to be violent – he is teaching about healing. Very poor analogy. But I do get your point – and believe it or not: I have gotten it already a few weeks ago.

    But: like some researcher said a while ago to me, that people should be educated about internet: don’t believe everything you read, since 99% is not true. It takes quite a bit to acquire accurate information. If you ever studied science and reseach methods, you would know. It’s not as easy as you think. Lazy cynicism and slander is extremely easy and doesn’t require brains.

    Until I KNOW how things are I don’t change my course. What I’ve learnt from Pema’s style I don’t consider her reliable informant. Oh, no.

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  275. bellaB
    While I realise using Hitler on the internet is usually considered an indication of having lost the thread, I wonder if you could contemplate the following.

    Hitler had many followers who believed he was the perfect answer to Germany’s problems and who worshipped him like a God.

    On the other hand, he was directly responsible for the murder of millions of innocent people.

    There are people alive today who still refuse to believe this-they have seen the photos and read the reports but they still deny that the holocaust took place-because they didnt see it for themselves.

    Remind you of anyone?

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  276. Kapasi, I have told Pema to seek psychiatric help – but how many times before me she has told me I’m mad? I meant that I think she needs psychiatric help if she sees a group of thousands of people ‘mad’ without ever having met them, nor spoken to them. I think many professionals would agree on this.

    Childish to discus who did what first, but… I have felt really offended by her language: for me it is very personal slander against SR. Even though he is not here to defend himself, I feel (like you Kapasi for Pema) also offended by her words. I see SR totally differently – and the words sound extreme and stupid to me. Like she would block a whole lot of the reality out – and provoking some vision of hell realm infront of her eyes. But it must be so, that we all have karmic lenses through which we see things, and we just have a completely different set of glasses in this case. There’s no way we will ever agree, so we should stop ‘nagging’ at each other.

    I told themadhair he sounds mad, because of his style – which seemed threatening to me – to reveal ip addresses. I have discussed with him privately – and he is very responsible and not doing that. So, I draw back my earlier comment.

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  277. Pema, I think you deserve every word from me. I’m sorry, but the language is really low and more correct for the yellow papers. Yes, because of your extreme words I have wondered if you would be ready to face reality in the form of meeting SR. Why don’t you go and talk to him – or if you are so devasted – shout at him directly? For sure you have – and are forming – an extremely strong karmic bond to him. Why not face him in this life directly? Who knows, like they say, perhaps you’ll be reborn as his relative – and must learn to love him? :)

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  278. Hidehi,
    Clearly you are well informed. I know of 2 exemplary relationships that started between lamas with female students Both resulted in marriage. Both produced children. I know for sure that many years later one of these partnerships is still blissfully, monogamously happy. I have no reason to doubt that the same applies to the other.
    As you suggest, there is a vast difference between these circumstances and Sogyal’s depraved lifestyle. Not only does he maintain a harem , he has a regular input of new legovers and he is a sadist..
    The 1994 Janice Doe lawsuit alleged sexual abuse and battery. The indictment contained a line which alleged that Janice Doe was informed that to be beaten by the lama is a blessing.
    So we are not talking about occasional philandering. Sogyal is a sex addict and he should not be in a situation where he has access to a continuous supply of young, vulnerable and naive women. Rather, he should be on the Sex Offenders Register.

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  279. CB
    The reasons Tibetan groups dont impose such is simply because it is recognised universally that, due to the imbalance of power in the relationship, it is totally inappropriate for teachers to sleep with students. You might as well say no group you have been associated with forbids their Rinpoche from sleeping with eight year olds. Of course they dont; they attribute sufficient wisdom and self control to the teacher for him or her to know the difference between obvious right and wrong.

    Moreover, where I have seen such relations develop they have done so between consenting adults and have sometimes even culminated in marriage.

    Unlike these however, Rigpa seems to have run at one level at least to facilitate regular and varied one night ‘legovers’ for the Golden Child. Dharma communities are for people to follow the path to liberation and enlightenment, not to mount the stairs to the teachers bedroom.
    Remember what the Dalai Lama said about Sogyal’s antics-Name names in newspapers. You disagree I suppose?

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  280. Agree with Pema on this one. Bella has been suprisingly personal -telling themadhair he was mad, and telling Pema:

    “you need help from psychiatric institutions.”

    Nice! Her posts are littered with derogatory comments.

    Bella -by trying to help you, what I meant was trying to help you understand what people are saying…but I have come to the conclusion, it doesn’t work-which is fine. You have your fixed position on it, and the dialogue with you is frustrating as it leads precisely nowhere and is, as I said up thread, a collossal waste of time.

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  281. Concerned Buddhist,
    What a load of pompous piffle! Are you a Rigpa zombie? Seems like it, in view of the inaccurate absurdities you state about BellaB. I can’t be bothered to pick up on this in detail, but anyone who has followed this thread will know that she has launched a succession of personal attacks against me — including referncers to my lack of intelligence and my motivation. Get real.

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  282. We have replied late last night. Our position has not changed this not a forum but a place to leave comments. Most of your issues are answered on the site, but that is why we require a word document. We will post both the questions and the answers. Just to be clear about this. We are not a site that makes judgements about any religion as religion but only in regard to cultist attitudes and tendencies that can be found in any religious group. I am repeating myself. The dossier on Sogyal was produced and edited by a Buddhist not by Dialogue Ireland.
    The references to the Dalai Lama were not critical of his position but asking the question why he continues to associate with someone who there are very clear questions about.
    I wrote to the representative of the Dalai Lama asking this question and to date have received no reply. We have no position on Tibetan Buddhism, as I wrote before this not the function of this site.

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  283. Given the general tenor of the debate, I doubt that the voice of reason will win out. I want to make it clear that I am not yet on one side or the other.

    However, Hidehi’s post simply cannot go by without comment.

    When a number of individuals make the same report about something said prior to abuse, this can be seen as evidence in a court of law.

    You raised an excellent point. In a court of law the rules are clear. People have to testify under oath and face serious penalties for giving false testimony. Opposing council is given a fair chance to cross examine. And while a number of individuals saying the same thing is certainly something any jury will take into account, it doesn’t always result in a conviction.

    Here, there is no testimony given under oath and no cross examination. Therefore we are depending on DI to do a good job vetting witness accounts. Since I couldn’t find any description of a methodology or philosophy of how witness are vetted and conflicting accounts are resolved and so on, I have asked Mike Garde on another thread to please tell us a bit about it. I expect that soon he will be able to respond.

    BTW could you explain which Tibetan groups sanction sex between teacher and student?

    I don’t know of a single Tibetan Buddhist group that places any preconditions on the behaviour of their Rinpoche at all. Can you tell me which group specifically has in their by laws that their Rinpoche is not allowed to sleep with students? It is my understanding that one way you try to demonstrate cultic tendencies in a group is to show how they differ in a dangerous way from the norm. So if you turn the question into the one I just proposed you will find that Rigpa most likely follows the same standards as other groups in this regard (i.e. they don’t mention the issue of whether Rinpoche can have sex with students or not). The by laws of the two groups that I have sat on the board of definitely did not place any restrictions on the behaviour of head Rinpoche. I didn’t think the issue at hand was whether teachers should have sex with students or not. I thought the issue was about coercive, ritualized sexual abuse. I don’t think we will get anywhere by broadening the issue beyond the very serious accusations that were already made. But I realize that people here likely have a variety of agendas.

    In any case hopefully DI will respond soon to my questions on the other thread.

    Then I just want to say one thing to BellaB. I am so impressed with your good natured, kind demeanor. You have basically been treated horribly by so called Buddhists who in general seem to be more like a firing squad then practitioners. There is certainly a way for people to express their views without aggression and you demonstrate that in nearly every post (although personally I wouldn’t put down other Buddhist groups, they seem to be doing that through their behavior anyway). If everybody behaved cordially, sticking to the issues that would be make it much easier for a person like me to be able to hear the message. I think the way you have handled yourself is in and of itself a reflection of your teacher. I hope I am able to conduct myself in as authentic and dignified way.

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  284. When a number of individuals make the same report about something said prior to abuse, this can be seen as evidence in a court of law.
    BTW could you explain which Tibetan groups sanction sex between teacher and student?Indeed, which groups throughout Buddhism-do tell.

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  285. How do you know what SR has said or promised some women?
    I doubt he would advertise himself like a sex worker for tantric experience?

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  286. ” I doubt Rigpa is any different from other Tibetan Buddhist groups.”
    In the overwhelming majority of Tibetan groups I am aware of, it is not customary for the teacher to have sexual relations with student. Where this does occur, it is not within the context of an abusive scenario. It is simply desire between two beings. We cant judge people for having desire-hardly tantric daaahling!
    But screwed on the basis of the promise of a ‘tantric experience’? Dont you read the Press? That’s one of Mohan Singh’s lines, he of the ‘organic penis’ Buddhist tradition

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  287. And what is coercive in Rigpa?

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  288. And if you claim Rigpa having cultish tendensies, then I think it’s relevant to check cultish tendensies in other groups, in order to get the full picture. I doubt Rigpa is any different from other Tibetan Buddhist groups.

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  289. Students are free to drink themselves into the ground during tsok-whether there is any spiritual benefit or not is a different matter.

    When did this thread start to focus on Namkhai Norbu? Yes he has done a bit but was it coercive as with S? I think bellaB may be trying to turn our attention towards the Dzog Chen community (most importantly, away from Rigpa) Wont work

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  290. Pema, then you have to say that Arogter people are part of a cult too. They are totally isolated into themselves as a group. I asked if I became a student, then could I still go to retreats with Rigpa. Answer was: No. I made an immediate choice.

    What about the students of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche? Drinking their guts out in tsok. Some NN’s students I’ve met: dzogchen practitioners without compassion – that is so cold, just cutting and cutting….

    How about other lamas? Pure perfection? I agree with Emaho about how to view the lama.

    Pema, if you judge people without knowing them, I think you do wrong. If you generalize (or demonize) some group of people, you need help from psychiatric institutions. It can be healed by analysing your thoughts and reflecting them against the reality.

    Mostly I don’t see SR as fluffy wonderful lama: I see him as a ‘hockey player’ with great skill against my ego. “I” can’t win.

    What are the greatest differences between Namkhai Norbu’s student group and Sogyal Rinpoche’s group? Are there any?

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  291. Emaho,
    I agree with most of your comments but have to take issue with you on Rigpa as a cult. It most definitely is. A coercive cult. I have a dossier of evidence to support this claim. And before you go into a tailspin BellaB — no – I am not going to share it here.

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  292. Well, it looks like after all those posts and all that talk, nothing whatsoever has changed. What a complete waste of effort on all our parts;) In future, i think I’ll remember the old addage, ‘If you tell someone they are in a cult, they will just move further into the cult.’
    Rigpa is no cult; however there certainly is cult of personality around Sogyal. You see it in a lot of Tibetan Buddhist groups-seeing the guru as buddha misconstured as ‘Isnt he wonderful’ What was it lord buddha said in the Prajnaparamita? ‘Those who know me through my body do not know me’. Ive been in with the in crowd and now Im alone. My thoughts about the guru? Stick to remembering he is the apparently external manifestation of ones own clear and luminous nature. As for bodies/personalities etc just passing show (as Sogyals use of Grecian 2000 proves)

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  293. I’d like to ask Kapasi how did you wish you could help me?

    Would you like me to leave Rigpa or what? Should I follow Pema, you or Dialogue Ireland? I have been there for many years and known about the gossips most of my time there, so don’t think I didn’t keep my eyes open or didn’t pay attention to what he has said and taught.

    I’d rather follow SR at the end of the day. He can teach me things that others can’t. Him as the teacher ‘works’ for me. I’ve tried to change groups in the beginning because of practical issues, but there’s just no way: all other groups feels like ‘not home’. Other teachers seem great in their own way (some don’t feel like anything), but no-one moves me or transforms my mind like SR.

    I understand that if Pema has put SR up as a teacher and had great hopes – and being disappointed by some events. But I’ve come along much later and haven’t experienced anything bad, only good. Why did you Pema put him up as a teacher in the first place, if you felt he is ‘nobody’?

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  294. Thanks a lot. You don’t need to approve of me.

    I don’t either need to waste time here.

    My original aim was to bring another perspective from present day Rigpa student, since I thought this page is filled with surreal slander from wild fantasies. But I’m called naive, mad, cuckoo. What more?

    If I question any aspect of your solidified ‘horror pictures’, I get extreme responses. But I don’t mind and I’m calm, so you don’t need to worry. Now I’m going back to work. Bye!

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  295. Dear BellaB,
    There are many useful things you could be doing with your life rather than gibbering on here and attracting wave after wave of derision. It is not conducive to a calm, clear, compassionate mental state.
    Re: Sogyal and Dominique. I introduced Dominique to Sogyal at a party at a squat on Prince of Wales Road, London in 1974. This is historical fact and beyond dispute.
    Kapasi is correct that it is a massive waste of time, energy and goodwill trying to get through to you. For my part, I have gained a lot from many posts in this forum. Insight, information and support — for example. I have also formed a view on the effects of being involved with Rigpa on people lacking critical awareness — or voluntarily suspending it for whatever reason. Bluntly, Rigpa drives them mad.

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  296. The naievety of this statement doesn’t deserve commenting on…Bella.

    I really admire you as English isn’t your 1st language, so I take my hat off to you. However, the trouble is, you seem to be missing the meaning of a lot of what is said here. For now, I am retiring from this site…it’s exhausting, and I can’t help you at all. It’s just going round in circles and I’m uncertain of how this is benefiting you..it is I think, a colossal waste of time.

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  297. So, you are an ex- or new Rigpa member?

    I meant he has never said “I’m guilty” or “I’m not guilty”. I said in my other post somewhere that he never directly talks about it. He doesn’t defend himself about it.

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  298. Bellab, my point is this..if you don’t know something and you weren’t there, then how do you know he hasn’t commented on it? I myself, have heard him telling people not to go there-ie to the internet and to ignore it. He may not talk explicitly, but for anyone with an ounce of understanding, he is telling them very clearly, to ignore what is being said. That’s how I know you are probably a keen outsider rather than an involved insider, and can see only a very ltd part of the picture. Just because you haven’t seen or heard something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I would also really appreciate it, if when you post, you stop assuming everyone here has never ever heard of love, blessings, buddha, etc etc etc. Thanks very much.
    Night.

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  299. emaho: How is your own mind then? Did you ever received any blessing – or you just don’t know what I’m talking about. ? I’m not talking about a word in a book. If you compare bus/feather to the blessings, (all pervasive love I’m talking about), then I wonder if you ever heard Buddhist teachings? Did you ever felt joyous love?

    Kapasi. I don’t know what SR has told Dominique Side. She met SR in the University during their studies, where SR also met his old students, Patrick and others. Those old students have sticked around.

    SR has never himself commented on the stuff, although he is very open, sometimes too openly telling stories. I can’t tell what SR has told DS. I would assume – since DS has been there through all these decades – that she probably would have a personal point of view to things. Her mind doesn’t seem to be filled with revulsion. I don’t really know her, so I don’t want to talk about her here. I wasn’t either there when they discussed.

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  300. ‘bella B states ‘One thing about devotion is that one receives blessings. I bet the blessings D Side and many other students have received overruns the narrow mindedness of some on the gossip site’

    Yeah, yeah, if you see the guru as buddha, you get the blessings of buddha; ‘you can get relics from a dogs tooth’ etc. BULL. If you see bus as a feather and jump in front of it, it will gently stroke you, tickling you at worst.??? I dont think so. For example, are you suggesting that if one sees Shugden as a Buddha, one gets the blessings of a buddha?

    Your interpretation of the seeing the guru as buddha idea grants an unhealthy, god like status to your mind, a mind which is in truth just another samsaric phenomena.

    As for
    ‘I bet the blessings D Side and many other students have received overruns the narrow mindedness of some on the gossip site’

    do you think perhaps for a moment that some of the people commenting here might fear for others? Look up ‘generosity-granting fearlessness’ in your Bodhicharyavatara.

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  301. Really BellaB, is that the best you can do? You’ve completely avoided my question. Please explain what you meant. I’ll repeat it.

    Oct 19th Bella b
    “First of all: Sogyal Rinpoche has never commented in any way about ‘the rumours’.”

    Oct 28th Bella b
    “I think it was Dominique Side – – who spoke in Lerab Ling this summer publicly about the gossips. I wasn’t there.”

    Some discrepancy here-are you suggesting Dominique Side is speaking to the sangha off her own bat, without SR knowing?

    Please clarify.

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  302. revulsion… (language check)

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  303. One thing about devotion is that one receives blessings. I bet the blessings D Side and many other students have received overruns the narrow mindedness of some on the gossip site.

    I hope Pema has the courage to go to Rigpa today – and not wasting her time lurking in the corners for some ‘gossip tips’. You must ask D Side for her comments. I have no idea: I wasn’t there.

    I was wondering how one could use one’s own puke as the path? Whipping oneself to extreme states of hatred and revultion – that must be ‘fun’?

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  304. oh naughty, naughty ;-)

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  305. With all due respect, Pema, I am sure Bella b will be more knowledgeable about the workings of Rigpa and it’s inner circle…she is, after all, an insider, and has up-to-the-minute information on what is going on in SR’s mind and no doubt, his closest disciples.

    Drums fingers.

    I can’t think what’s keeping her…

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  306. Well spotted Kapasi —
    I know Dominique Side well and can confirm that she is a 100% brainwashed Sogyal zombie. Under no circumstances whatsoever would she say or do anything off her own bat. She is entirely subservient to the man she sadly worships as a spiritual “master”. Her loyalty is impressive. Pity it is misdirected.

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  307. Oct 19th Bella b
    “First of all: Sogyal Rinpoche has never commented in any way about ‘the rumours’.”

    Oct 28th Bella b
    “I think it was Dominique Side – – who spoke in Lerab Ling this summer publicly about the gossips. I wasn’t there.”

    Some discrepancy here-are you suggesting Dominique Side is speaking to the sangha off her own bat, without SR knowing?

    Please clarify.

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  308. Cuckoo!

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  309. Well,

    didn’t convince me.

    Forget it. I’m also quite tired of the discussion. I’m not angry, but I have sort of made up my mind after a long, deep and painful (my own past memories) process. I don’t think I will change my mind easily after this personal process that I’ve gone through. I think a change in me has happened, and I don’t think it’s for the worse (even though you may not agree), since I feel more free than in aeons.

    Therefore it’s for everyone to decide for themselves. But it’s good for one to find out the true events, if one really ever can, and not to decide based on gossips. It’s best if it’s coming from a real person, not ‘just someone’ from the internet. And even then, best to listen to ones own heart — maybe peace will come at some point.

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  310. Well, according to who those things exist today? Pema has been there long ago, the people here who have publicly said something didn’t mention, if that happened during 2000.

    I’ve never heard of it. My friend works day and night in Lerab Ling. He would hear stuff too. Rigpa inside circle is not gossip free.

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  311. Bella, please, I am very well aware of Tulkus/the status of the lama/ Western/Eastern differences, and how Rigpa operates so apart from your rather patronizing tone, you keep missing the point. Drop the history lesson stuff.

    The whole point which you seem determined to miss in your reading of the endless posts on this site, is that this is not about the 70’s and what happened then. It is about what is going on NOW. If he had changes his ways this site wouldn’t exist.

    I realize English isn’t your first language but even so.

    I’m taking a break now.

    I’ll let someone else talk to you, Bella! Good luck on your path.

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  312. Well, as SR was brought up in a different culture – we don’t need to discuss weather he is omniscient or not – then in his environment women went for lamas: it was an honor. He comes to west in 1970’s – time when the pill was just liberating people’s relations, hippie’s love for all -stuff going on, no hiv, probably not so many other sexual diseases either. Totally different scene from today.

    If you travel in India as a Western woman, Indian men think of you equal to porn stars and they grab you in buses. If a woman offers herself openly, one can just think what goes through in an Indian male’s mind. I have also heard that women threw themselves at him.

    That is one aspect of the whole story, I would assume.

    The second thing I’ve noticed in Tibetans as a group, is that they are passionate people. Before they were fighters but Padmasambhava ‘tamed’ them. Sogyal Rinpoche has said that he was wild and naughty child.

    About omniscience: the Tulkus are said to be born with the possibility, karma and qualities of someone who could achieve a lot. But it’s not an automatic thing: they need to practice.

    The other thing is that they receive their teachers and lineage blessings – but it usually happens when the teacher dies.

    I just might think there might be a huge difference between SR in 1970’s and SR in 2000. I cannot know: I wasn’t there in 1970’s.

    The differences between my knowledge of SR and Pema’s given information:

    – SR does practice, many hours daily
    – many have received blessings from him and his teachings have helped people a lot
    – nobody, who doesn’t work in Rigpa can just walk and talk to him. I have known him for 9 years and sometimes I have questions for him. Either I give my question to an older student on a paper. Or if I needed to see him I’m always taken care of by older students and accompanied by them to see Sogyal Rinpoche after the teaching at the door in public space. It’s just not possible to be on your first (nor 10th) retreat and end up in his bed. The scene is totally different.

    To become a worker in Rigpa does happen slowly. You don’t just announce yourself there. You join the group of workers and contribute. Only a few of his workers can talk to him, and also usually (as much as I know) in a company of other people. People rushing in and out, since most are busy.

    I just can’t imagine the closed the door scene with SR as the ‘doctor’ and a student as a ‘patient’. If the doctor and the patient fell in love they might go for dinner in their free time. I think it’s fine.

    A teaching by SR is ‘Opening the Heart’ (from about 10 years ago) where he talks deeply about relationships, sex without love not being good and whatever related to problems arising in relationships. He does understand something and is also able to teach on that. They are not words of a womanizer either.

    I have a friend who morally misbehaved towards me. It took 2 years of anger and one day of practice for me to be able to see her as somebody else that 2 years ago. When I opened my eyes 2 years later I could see her reasons behind her actions and I could finally forgive her. Sometimes forgiving takes years, but some people do change, and then it’s easier. One has to look.

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  313. Bellab. If a woman goes to see a dr and her express intention is to seduce him, but she sees him in the surgery, and he succumbs and they have sex, regardless of her intention…and what she wants from the encounter, the question has to be asked….is he acting appropriately or not? He is a dr. He is bound by certain duties and obligations to each person who walks into his surgery. The onus is on him (or if you want to reverse the sexes ,her) to behave in a way that honours his professional duties to each patient he meets.

    The same vis a vis a student and teacher. If the student doesn’t see herself as a student when she approaches her teacher, and he is meeting her in his teaching capacity, then the onus is on him, not her, to behave in a way, which is appropriate. It doesn’t matter what her designs on him are. What matters is his response as he is the teacher, with all that goes with it.

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  314. ..and your point is?

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  315. In general I don’t think it’s ok.

    I myself also wouldn’t go to ask for sex from my teacher. If I did, I don’t think I would consider him my teacher, but a man that I have other plans and intentions toward, no matter how long term, short term they would be.

    70’s was also a bit different from the 2000. Tibetan clture different from western. In Tibet families support a woman who is a consort.

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  316. ..and to take it one step further. If a female patient tries to come onto the male dr, or a student tries to get the male teacher sexually interested in her, is he doing his job if he does come onto them sexually? Is this fair play, do you think?
    Is it OK?

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  317. Bella, what do you think to doctors hitting on their patients, when they go to see them. The patient has a problem but all the dr wants is an innapropriate grope? Is this Ok?
    what do you think of teachers’ having sex with their pupils?
    Have you heard of the term fiduciary duty?

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  318. Womanizing is one thing.

    Abuse another.

    Rape yet another.

    Women desiring a man is one thing.

    Men desiring a woman one thing.

    Woman desiring many men, man desiring many women…

    Desire?

    Abuse?

    Love?

    One has to define for oneself many things.

    I have my own decisions in my life. Others have their own.

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  319. Dominque Said-Lerab Ling =Bacon butty-Barmitzvah. You werent there!
    PS ‘Many things have changed’ Yeah, but from what??
    There is no democracy in Tibetan Buddhism, only the guru and the student. And anyway, systems cannot deal with abuse if the the abuse is is endemic within the one man system. What will he do, tell himself off?

    Ben Kungyal

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  320. I think it’s best for you Pema to visit Rigpa again after the 70’s. Many things have changed. In what ever big or small organization they make system how to deal with different things.

    I think it was Dominique Side – I think you know her – who spoke in Lerab Ling this summer publicly about the gossips. I wasn’t there.

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  321. Correction — it is not Arogter — it is Aro Buddhism.
    Kapasi — can you give more detail about this Rigpa *training programme* please? How did you hear about it? Do you know who is in charge of it? How long has it been operational?Any detail much appreciated. If you do not wish to go public with this you can private message me at http://www.rickross.com I post there as Blue Dakini. Or via Facebook. Real name there.

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  322. Arogter teacher at least has written this book:

    Dangerous Friend: The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism

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  323. “A dzogchen teacher does it sometimes really ‘unkindly’.”

    I can’t remember in who’s book I read it. Some book that dealt with teacher-student relationships.

    I think it’s also well known fact that teachers demand ‘crazy’ sounding things from students, for example the story when a lama made the student build many towers for nothing.

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  324. “I’ve spoken to Rigpa people many times: don’t worry.” Whatever someone tells me weather it comes from a person from Rigpa (we are all different) or from someone somewhere else, I still make my own opinions according to my own experience. For me the path is very personal. Someone told me that I was more independent than most girls already as a young female.

    I do question, all the time. That is why my path is always turbulent.

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  325. I’ve spoken to Rigpa people many times: don’t worry.

    Unkindly in quotes I mean that it might not seem kind, but fundamentally it’s kindness.

    No, not all feminists are angry, but for me since young girl and faced with unjust treatment in all levels: teachers being more accepting of boys’ bad behavior than girls, car repair people (mostly males) ripping of women if they seem not to know how car works etc, has made me angry in many situations.

    I can’t say weather 50% were angry, but I spoke with a male friend who said he guesses that they were. SR said that according to some woman female students are not so steady as male students are. so one should rely on males. That was not HIS opinion though. I spoke with a few women and some seemed to be annoyed by that comment too.

    And I want to emphasize that what ever experiences I have and however I interpret them, doesn’t mean I would accept the use of female students.

    I just wanted to say that the ‘feminist’ – how my ego describes myself – can be used as part of the path. For myself personally all this stuff seems to be somehow joint together, but it must because I consider SR my teacher.

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  326. You have made some stunning statements here, Bella.

    >A dzogchen teacher does it sometimes really ‘unkindly’.

    Please qualify-who told you this?

    >When SR made me angry – and I call myself a feminist, so it really isn’t very difficult for him to find words – in that moment I think 50% of the female audience were raging inside

    So all feminists are really angry are they? How do you know 50% of the female audience were raging?

    >but I just wanted to say: the dzogchen path feels very turbulent at times, but maybe it’s supposed to be so.

    Dzogchen is the fastest path, and the most dangerous I understand. Not a path to be taken lightly, it’s true. Though again I get the impression you could be told anything and told this is how it is without really questioning if it needs to be that way or is just how it is being presented now. I have heard SR say there’s often a lot of trouble around a great teacher…do you see what he does by saying that?

    It might be a good idea to contact RIGPA where I think they are training people in how to deal with people who raise troublesome questions about RIGPA and SR’s behaviour. They may be able to give you advice that would benefit you.

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  327. Actually one of those love experiences in my retreats happened right after I had been furious about SR. Like he has said a teacher can “push our buttons” and he truly can. A dzogchen teacher does it sometimes really ‘unkindly’.

    I’ve seen rude behavior in other teachers who claim to be dzogchen teachers. Since they didn’t feel genuine dharma teachers to me (I didn’t ‘get’ their teachings, might be my own ‘fault’) I just thought they were really arrogant and rude.

    When SR made me angry – and I call myself a feminist, so it really isn’t very difficult for him to find words – in that moment I think 50% of the female audience were raging inside :) It’s the only moment I have been fuming towards him.

    But later, on a moment when I did let go of my anger – I felt I was too tired to be angry anymore and decided to let go – at that moment the huge love experience went through me again. Two nights before I had seen and woken at night into dreams about him – in one he was behaving like a deity called Vajrakilaya.

    Maybe one should not tell personal experiences – especially not here – but I just wanted to say: the dzogchen path feels very turbulent at times, but maybe it’s supposed to be so.

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  328. Pema, thanks to you as well for filling us in, a bit about your personal involvement with SR. That’s helpful.

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  329. Thanks sincere-seeker, for sharing. You are very lucid and bring a welcome reminder of what we who travel on a buddhist path need to recall. Respect for each other, no matter how divergent our view points. It is a delicate and controversial matter and negative emotions invetiably get involved. I really like what you say about discovering the love inside of us, as we take the teachings to heart.

    Big thanks.

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  330. Hi

    Please don’t think I’d put down your experience BellaB. On that retreat and others I made friends who had exactly the same experience as you, one or two especially strongly. Of course I think this is equally valid.

    You are right – sexuality is expressed differently in Asia (I am in Asia right now) and as I said women are thought of very differently.

    In the context of spiritual teaching, it doesn’t necessarily make a teacher a bad person if liaisons occur… but they can cause emotional havoc if not handled well. I am not in position to say if this is the case with SR – others have more information on that than me. Do you agree it would be important to investigate and clarify though?

    Anyway as long as your eyes are open and everything feels positive who can say that this is not the exact right path for you and many others right now? It wasn’t mine, but that’s OK too. I respect that you are making us aware of your very positive blessing experience – I would do the same.

    This is just my opinion, and you probably know it already…. but the wonderful emanating love that you felt from your teacher is something which the best teachers/ teachings will guide you towards finding within yourself. Ultimately the teacher can withdraw as the student discovers this in self-realisation. If this is happening to you (and of course it takes time) I’d agree you are most definitely on the right path. Really, only you can know that.

    Within the Rigpa organisation are there a good number of senior students who are obviously developing the quality of emanating love too? If so, that would be a reassuring sign.

    Best wishes everyone – such a delicate subject – and a mysterious universe! It may sound corny but we ARE all held in oneness and this messy stuff will work its way through.

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  331. Under no circumstances whatsoever will anyone stop me from telling the truth — either here or anywhere else. Attempts to intimidate me (or probably others) are a waste of time and energy. FYI Nagkpa Chogyam and his wife Dechen are personal friends. They are not my teachers and I am not involved with Aro Buddhism. One final word — if the broad spectrum of testimony about Sogyal’s abuses now extant on the internet, print and broadcast media are all libelous –how come Sogyal and/or Rigpa have not sued? Go on belleB — have the last word. it is yours. My gift.

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  332. Do you Pema think that I’m not sincere? I don’t lie.

    I just don’t like the over all slander-type of talk and personal attacks that you make on SR.

    I commented mainly on Arogter – not so much that I would personnaly have anything agianst them – but for you to see/feel what your type of slander and attack feels like. So, please stop that.

    Even if you didn’t find SR attractive in his youth, maybe some women genuinely did.

    I also know a Tibetan monk who does flirt like hell, suggests things. I know many Tibetans and that’s seems to be part of their way to be: flirt, not necessarily serious. I’ve met in my travels in India monks and nuns doing all kinds of humanly understandable things – which in Western Christian culture would cause bad talk.

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  333. Many thanks Sincere-Seeker for your thoughtful post. It echoes the best that has unfolded here — as more people (mostly women) find courage in numbers to speak about their experiences. I have been appalled and disgusted by the accounts I have heard of sexual relations between Sogyal and (almost invariably) young, pretty women. I was the first person to set Sogyal up as a teacher in London in 1973, so I know him well at a personal level. He never tried to seduce me — but in those days I was a staff news journalist with an international organisation so that almost certainly put him off! He did, however seduce just about every young, pretty woman who pitched up at teachings who was willing to undergo a quickie with an inept, overweight (even back then) man. Because we were all very alternative people, we tolerated his incessant womanising — but the same was not true of the Nyingma community in Paris. They invited Sogyal to teach — and then threw him out when the found out about his sex addiction. This is historical fact and can easily be verified. As you will no doubt be aware, I do not respond to personal attacks and/or vilification here or anywhere else. I am, however, willing to share some (but not all) of my experience and research with polite and genuine Sincere Seekers :-)

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  334. Thank you for your long answer.

    When I’ve looked into his eyes I do see a deep piercing look. Sometimes I think it’s his eagle eyes that doesn’t miss anything.

    I have never seen lust in him, but I cannot deny your experience.

    Once I spoke to him in front of an audience, getting my blessing, since I was leaving the retreat earlier. I’ve got blessings many times, but once it was memorable experience. There was this huge touching love emanating from him. I don’t know what happened to me but I remember it so vividly and thought that now I understand why saints are drawn with the light surrounding them. It’s the energy. That is my xperience. And even if others have other type of experiences, please, don’t put down mine either.

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  335. Hello

    I was a member of Rigpa in the late 1990’s and had a 3 week retreat with SR, during which something profound and wonderful occurred for me. He wasn’t directly involved with this, but I felt that Rigpa/ SR had paved the way for me.

    At the end of the retreat I filed up onto stage for my blessing, smiling and full of gratitude for what had happened. It was the first time I’d been that close up to him. Expecting to sense the wonderful love that many others raved about, I looked briefly into SR’s eyes and to my horror – saw dark and pure lust – that’s the only way I can describe it. I left the hall and vomited profusely. I let go of all my Rigpa books and tapes. I was hurt and confused to see this in a revered teacher’s eyes. Whatever the cause, it was a crystal-clear personal message for me.

    Over the years a few people had said maybe I’d projected it – hmmmm- didn’t feel like that at all…..but maybe???? I rarely think about it nowadays and have more or less forgotten Rigpa – although I do continue with my spiritual practice and am still attracted to some aspects of the Tibetan teachings – but nothing involving that particular teacher. Mentioning my experience to a new friend who noticed my books on Tibetan Buddhism just 2 days ago however, she told me that I’d been very lucky…. so I googled around and found this site. I can now see what she means.

    I now fear that if the brave and self-honest women who speak out are finally listened to, the ordinary Rigpa faithful may be terribly hurt. They may experience a more intense version of my relatively small confusion. Please Bella B and others, consider how you will protect your well-being if this happens. The Dharma and other reliable spiritual paths are still there for you (including Christ-based ones) – plus more conventional support too- you will find a way through it and be OK. You can retain what is good and carry on developing.

    Please do be open-minded enough to listen to those who say they were hurt though? They may feel the organisation is denying them and this could add to their confusion and delay healing.

    Thinking about it – we Westerners have been so naive in our blind acceptance of Eastern teachers. The philosophies are fabulous and in my opinion, speak to a marvelous truth about reality, largely lost by our own religions. In our thirst and reverence for the message however, are we sometimes a little undiscriminating about the medium?

    Because of the amazing concepts extolling compassion for all beings, we can easily forget that the sexual mores of the countries from which these teachers come are totally different to our own, particularly in regard to the status of women.

    I am currently living long-term in a relatively modern Asian/ Buddhist country, but witness every day the enormous gulf between how Western women see themselves and how the local population view and treat women. How much more so in quasi-Medieval Tibet, as it was before the Chinese invasion?

    Regardless of the wonderful Buddhist philosophy – women are simply less valued than men (our female body is a lesser vehicle) – a powerful man will likely feel that his spiritual advancement is more important to the Universe than a random young woman’s. He might well feel he is helping and honoring the woman concerned by allowing her to please him sexually/ serve tantric purposes etc.

    She might be seduced by the possible benefits of a relationship with such a revered man, but when the highly unequal basis emerges, her Westernised self-respect will face humiliation. The guru may or may not be aware of this emotional havoc or he may just rationalise it as “part of her path”.

    I feel that is at the root of many of these problems – no idea if this applies to this particular teacher – just a hunch based on the accounts I’ve come across. I am always aware that I may be wrong! I am trying hard not to judge anyone involved, including the teacher.

    The HHDL comments to go public gave me the confidence to write this post. To be honest what I saw in that particular teacher’s eyes was scary at a variety of levels… so I symapthise with people out there who may feel deeply intimidated to tell their story. Yet at root of our being we know that there is goodness in all, so we shouldn’t be afraid if we focus on that.

    I fully acknowledge that SR and Rigpa have most definitely affected many people’s lives very positively, including in a way, mine. I still support a couple of refugees from Tibet as a way of expressing gratitude for the teachings that came out with the diaspora, many of which reached me via Rigpa. Mine is a purely personal teacher-student story, with no resentful feelings or axe to grind.

    Sincere good luck to everyone involved in this unfolding dynamic. If a drama unfolds, let’s try and keep in touch with our innate love and compassion so that healing can flow to all as it works itself out.

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  336. And you have nothing else to say?

    I would say the same about you.

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  337. With friends like bellaB who needs enemies?

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  338. Well,

    I have followed Sogyal and other lamas a while.

    Yes, I also think many comments are really mad and clearly not knowing SR nor what they talk about.

    Sorry, but ignorance is great also on your side. Especially when one can see you NEVER met SR, but just go on talking like…

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  339. It certainly looks like Sogyal’s students are becoming more like NKT followers in their ignorance and intransigence if ‘bella b’ is any indication. Mad, quite mad. Surviving, indeed thriving on the oxygen of attention.These are the fools that will destroy the Dharma with ther blind, ininformed faith.

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  340. Mad.

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  341. I’m a student of SR and have been since 2001. I haven’t seen anything strange happening. I think SR finds his way through me and my projections – he is definitely the strongest and most powerful lama I have met. I’ve also experienced the essence of his teachings and he definitely can show people the nature of mind.

    My comments, very late, but still:

    Mary Finnigan, on July 6th, 2009 at 8:25 am Said:
    “Er no Kapasi — this is typical Rigpa spin. They are more concerned with image than substance. It is very sophisticated…and the people who present it are very well trained. This item appears to be a classic example of damage limitation.”

    So, everybody but yourself are the liars and manipulators. Having read your comments, I think you are more dishonest than people in Rigpa – or then you just seem very UNAWARE.

    I Found Sogyal to be a Mess, on July 6th, 2009 at 9:42 am Said:
    “Sogyal seduced women after their first teaching, at their first retreat, when they were young, and when they were in distress. He pressured them to remain in relationships with him with divinations and with promises of marriage among other means.”

    Oh, really? Students cannot even have private talks with Sogyal Rinpoche – even on their 10th retreat. I can’t say about the 70’s, but I’m talking at least 2000 onwards.

    Mary Finnigan, on July 6th, 2009 at 10:29 am Said:
    “I am confident that the journalistic treatment I am currently undertaking,together with a book project, will be effective in taking Sogyal out of circulation as a teacher and denying him access to his sexual hunting grounds.”

    Again, how stupid one can be? Sexual hunting grounds? Is that really ALL that you can see? How STUPID one can be? A typical ‘clever’ journalist. Yes: I understand that. They always twist the truth to fit their own mind sets.

    Do you think that the students will leave? They’ve been through all these decades. And it’s THEM who ask teacher to teach – not you, nor your book.

    “I have been in email correspondence with one of HH’s senior advisors, Chhime Rigdzin, during the past couple of months — requesting that HH deals effectively with Sogyal once and for all. I get anodyne responses, disingenuous ducking and weaving — and no firm commitment.”

    Chhime Rigdzin, isn’t that the one who is your teacher’s so called lama? Chogyam is pretty much of an outsider in Tibetan circles, unlike Sogyal Rinpoche. Why? Maybe because of the authenticity of the teachings or because Tibetan teachers do not start the teachings from Chöd, which is not a preliminary practice like in Arogter?

    What do you expect? Tibetan lamas putting out Sogyal Rinpoche? You must be joking. Sogyal Rinpoche was the one who opened the doors in the West for HH Dalai Lama. SR has been a constant support for HHDL, building Tenzin Gyatso institute etc.

    I hope, Mary Finnigan, that you study harder.

    Anonymous, on July 6th, 2009 at 1:27 pm Said:
    “I remember some discussions around that he needed to have dakinis to strengthen his practice and that this was important, i didnt’ give it much thought at the time but it makes sense now.”

    Well, think again. What dakinis are and what they do? They give advice. That is how Sogyal Rinpoche deals with them in public. Study well: what dakini is and what they do. Even Sogyal Rinpoche’s own mother and the step mother (Khandro) are called dakinis. They are in their 70-80’s. Do you think SR has sex with his mothers?

    Survivor

    I can relate to her story very well. It’s also my experience, though I’m not so close to Sogyal Rinpoche.

    Mary Finnigan, on July 6th, 2009 at 8:46 pm Said:
    “Apologies if this seems cynical — but I doubt the truth of Survivor’s story. I’d put money on it as a fabrication from the Rigpa PR dept. There are many phrases here that crop up on Rigpa web sites. But then perhaps he can keep it zipped now and agin. Anything is possible.”

    And you, MF, cannot see anything but negativity all around. I’m truly sorry for you.

    Disillusioned, on July 6th, 2009 at 10:07 pm Said:
    “Mary, I find it shocking that you immediately dismiss the truth of Survior’s story in such a vulgar fashion. I’ve been following this thread quietly until now to try to figure out what is the truth, but if that is the way a woman who supposedly cares for the well being of other women reacts when another woman (Survivor) shares her personal story of childhood rape and abuse, then it leads me to believe that you do not really care about any of these women themselves, but more about your own personal agenda.”

    I have exactly the same feeling about this MF. ‘She’ is too aggressive to be taken for real.

    Tiger Lily, on July 7th, 2009 at 9:21 am Said:
    “Furthermore i would like to say that I once knew Sogyal very well and was very fond of him for the good qualities I felt he had. But honestly, I have to say it and I speak with first hand experience, I had grave doubts that I was just being used to provide sexual gratification.”

    I’m very sorry for your experience. It always makes me sad if a man is not enough interested in me… for marriage and stuff. It just seems that one cannot do but to wait for the Prince to arrive, or just drop waiting. I wonder if SR ever wished for the Princess to arrive? Might not be part of his agenda, since everything is impermanent.

    Doh!, on July 7th, 2009 at 10:20 am Said:
    “Within this time warp, they have convinced themselves that they are preserving the last vestiges of an ancient tantric society, a society with mores much at odds with those of our own.”

    Please, don’t create conspiracy stories. Find out for yourself.

    Mary Finnigan, on July 8th, 2009 at 8:18 am Said:
    “The esoteric traditions which include power in their spiritual schema have tradionally been super-secretive and elitist. While mainstream religions have focussed power into the domain of the priesthood, the esoteric traditions empower people to generate it for themselves”

    Is this really ALL that you understand? Power… for what? To help all sentient beings, like yourself. What other, the worldly power – the one you seek – is relevant?

    “And people like Sogyal who never went through the arduous training rise to positions of power and influence way beyond their capabilities. In my view S knows he is out of his depth and probably secretly wishes it was all over and he could retire to a Caribbean island with an endless supply of adoring females, gourmet food, porn videos and Cuban cigars.”

    How STUPID can you get? I keep asking myself again and again. Sorry.

    Sogyal studied with Dudjom Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. He is always open to share teachings with other lamas. He is very open to study from young lamas, like Mingyur Rinpoche etc. Did your lama Chogyam try to relate to other Tibetans when he started to teach? NO.

    This is his reincarnation line:
    * Bodhisattva Vajragarbha
    * Prajapati Gotami, Buddha Shakyamuni’s aunt and stepmother, who was the first woman to enter the ordained Sangha
    * Nanam Dorje Dudjom
    * Trophu Lotsawa
    * Rigdzin Gödem (1337-1408)
    * Desi Sangye Gyatso (1677-1705)
    * Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800-1866)
    * Lingtsang Gyalpo
    * Tertön Sogyal (1856-1927)

    Did they still mention Tertön Sogyal in Arogter’s pages?

    anonymous, on July 9th, 2009 at 8:17 pm Said:
    “Be very wary of blind acceptance & grandiose projects!”

    The whole idea is to preserve Tibetan tradition and the benefit it brings to the World. This is done by establishing organizations, not home-based hippie-communities, which vanish with time. Learn to know Tenzin Gyatso Institute.

    Did you realize that the Tibetans don’t have a HOME anymore? HHDL and SR will die in a few decades. What will happen next? The temple remains, other teachers teach. What do you complain? The main financer of the Temple in Lerab Ling was a private person, not a tax payer of any European country.

    Mary Finnigan, on July 10th, 2009 at 8:16 am Said:
    “The trouble with Sogyal’s *authentic* teachings as far as I have learned from research carried out since 1994 — and from personal experience — is that they don’t work.”

    I’ve met MANY who have experienced the nature of mind. And I haven’t met anybody else in other groups (by other teacher) who would have. I have experienced it also myself, so I’m in no doubt it works. Mary Finnigan, you said you never had the feeling for SR to be your teacher – then WHAT do you expect?

    “Several people from his inner circle I have interviewed state that he never does any form of practice and never does silent sitting.”
    Oh, really? He has told us and he has done his own personal practice on many retreats with us, the retreatants. Sometimes he sits with us in meditation, so as to show us the nature of mind and to calm our minds. Him being present in OUR meditation sessions helps us calm down very fast. WHEN do you STOP making up these incredible STORIES? Use your writing ‘talents’ for some use that has real benefit.

    anonymous, on July 10th, 2009 at 11:05 am Said:
    “Of course, setting up a centre to support the dying is a worthy enterprise, but why such a grandiose architectural construction costing millions & top-heavy with ‘administrators’ is necessary to provide respite for 4 individuals is questionable. Another Rigpa showcase.”

    A friend of mine, a Rigpa student, donated much of the cost of the roof, so don’t be too alarmed, Irish people, that it’s you who are ‘wasting’ money.

    Mary Finnigan, on July 10th, 2009 at 11:36 am
    “Also S Said: BUYS his status — while his institutions are staffed with slave labour and supported by welfare states.”

    Does he? What if it’s only so, that you are just too stupid to see the LIGHT when it’s facing you? Slave labour? Rigpa tries to keep the cost down, so that retreat fees wouldn’t go to up. The money has to appear from somewhere in_Western_Society. Just check out retreat fees in Arogter. The students have to personally pay the lamas 50€ each month to prevent Arogter teachers from visits to unemployment office. I’ve been a Rigpa student for years without any personal fees to SR, nor Rigpa.

    “But please believe me, I have heard from several sources who were close to S that he never does any form of personal practice and never meditates when he is off duty.”

    From which century are your friends? My Rigpa friends and I have heard and seen him practice every day. He has said HIMSELF that before he was lazy, but now that he has got hold of the practice, he does it every day. This he tells us as a story to inspire us to start our practice. How about you Mary Finnigan, how’s your daily practice or are you too busy inventing stories? Whats your score in Ngöndro preliminaries or did you decide to skip it in Arogter way?

    Mary Finnigan, on July 10th, 2009 at 1:34 pm Said:

    I want to ask if you are a student of Ngakpa Chogyam from Arogter? Sounds like it. From a freak group of outsiders, so to say.

    Fairplay, on July 10th, 2009 at 10:09 am Said:

    I FEEL the same as you in Rigpa retreats. That is why we are there.

    Let’s Be Fair, on July 10th, 2009 at 8:11 pm Said:
    “So savvy media professional/propagandist, explain why we are supposed to believe anything you say?”

    I totally agree. She sounds unreal.

    Madhyamika, on July 10th, 2009 at 8:50 pm Said:
    “the author of TBLD, sinceat least 2 names are bandied around (neither being Sogyal-Patrick seems like a good bet)”

    Who cares if it was Patrick who WROTE DOWN Sogyal’s words? It’s Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings and life story & thoughts, not Patrick’s – even though St Patrick is SAINT Patrick!

    Madhyamika, on July 11th, 2009 at 8:01 am Said:
    “I am trying very hard to find your answer to the question I have posed to you repeatedly: Are all those who have accused Sogyal of sexual abuse here and elsewhere liars?”

    I’m not Let’s Be Fair, but I must say that the ones saying they were abused say it in very short words (no description) so I don’t find them convincing to me. The ones who speak out of their experiences like Fairplay, Let’s Be Fair and Survivor talk from the point of view of experience (with detailed description) and with details that I can identify with – therefore I believe them more than ex-dakinis. Why the Tiger_Lily and the ex-dakini don’t make me feel anything in their speech? It sounds empty without true experience.

    Mary Finnigan, on July 11th, 2009 at 5:00 pm Said:
    “I would like to see him taken out of circulation as a teacher effectively and permanently. It is my firm conviction that women who approach an international Buddhist organsation with the aim of learning how to meditate deserve better than a sleazy sex addict as their teacher.”

    MF, your language is exactly like coming from a sleazy journalist.

    Madhyamika, on July 11th, 2009 at 6:46 pm Said:
    “So I think I know where you are coming from, and i think we are coming from the same place. I wish you every success in your work and Im sure we will get to know each other in the future (We have actually already met-we are vajra brethren) In the meantime, good luck and happy hunting”

    Yes: Chogyam’s students? Good luck with the Ghost Hunt! Don’t forget the meaning of the Ngöndro practice.

    kapasi, on July 11th, 2009 at 7:13 pm Said:
    “It’s a shame the buddhist community cannot deal with it within its own four walls so to speak, but because it can’t or won’t, it has spilt out into cyber space.”

    The thing about the Buddhist World in the West is many ‘competing’ groups gossiping one another. It’s sad but so true. Sogyal Rinpoche is a rimé person, which is VERY GOOD.

    Ex Rigpa student, on July 14th, 2009 at 12:25 am Said:

    I’m sorry for your experience, but please don’t mix SR and the gun carrying lunatic together.

    “Two days later, my contact in Lerab Ling mailed me. They had found out that it was he who had given me the information about the girls having sex with Rinpoche. They questioned him about his contact with me and they wanted to know what he had told me.”

    Pretty understandable. If you were working for Rigpa, would you like to find out what is going on or what is said to be going on? Why your friend is still there in retreat if there is such ‘terrible things’ happening?

    French blog, on July 14th, 2009 at 8:37 am Said:
    “The autocrat has banned Tibetan openness of the faithful. The Rigpa members are not allowed to follow the teachings of other traditions. This prohibition is shocking even for Tibetans.”

    Just another lie. How many teachers there have been? Trulshik Rinpoche, Sakya Trichen, Ringu Tulku, Chokling Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche….

    Ex Rigpa student, on July 14th, 2009 at 9:52 am Said:
    “Especially because within Rigpa the teacher is God, and to criticize him is blasphemy and bad karma.”

    Somebody just criticized Rinpoche and he replied: “Some people try to piss of Buddhas to get their attention, but I’m not a Buddha, so why shout at me?”

    Like

  342. Mary Finnigan: “for example many people are convinced about Sogyal’s qualities as a compassionate being. One of Rigpa’s preoccupations is pandering to his massive self-importance by courting influential public figures, so that they enhance his image and give him opportunities to bask in reflected glory. HHDL plays into this on a regular basis. Rigpa managed to lure Carla Bruni Sarkozy into attending the inauguration of the Lerab Ling temple. This grandiose project cost 10 million Euros and is out of all proportion to the needs of the Lerab Ling meditators and the local community. Mary McAleese is not alone in falling for Rigpa’s PR manipulations.”

    This text sounds totally crazy. Don’t you know anything about Buddhism? Do you know Sogyal Rinpoche’s vision? I bet you don’t, and even if you did, I bet you wouldn’t understand.

    Preserving Tibetan Buddhist tradition in the worls is one of those goals. His own glory? He will be dead in a few decades. What does he do with his personal glory or possessions?

    How dum can one be?

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  343. This is the Sogyal teaching in Merigar West which I was referring to (which I listened to and watched online, but will not review):

    Sogyal Rinpoche Visits Merigar West
    Inviato da susan il Mer, 09/09/2009 – 16:11
    Luogo: Merigar West
    Dates: 20/09/2009 – 21/09/2009
    We have the pleasure to announce that Sogyal Rinpoche will give a 2-day teaching at Merigar West.

    The teaching which will also be transmitted by open webcast.

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  344. Sogyal was at Merigar some years ago. I hear that this visit went down like a lead balloon. Apparently he had about 5 people at his *teachings* (plagiarised from ChNN and other lamas) and they were so banal he was laughed off the premises. I don’t have feedback on this latest one yet — but it will happen in due course. When it does I will post again here.

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  345. “Now is the darkest hour of the dark age, in which disease famine and warfare are raging like the fierce north wind. The Buddha’s teaching has waned in strength. The various schools of the sangha are fighting with each other with sectarian bitterness and although the Buddha’s teaching was perfectly expounded and there have been many reliable teachings since then from other great gurus, yet they persue intellectual speculations. Tha sacred Tantra has strayed into Bon and the Yogis of Tantra are losing the insight of meditation. They spend their whole time going through villages and performing little ceremonies for material gain.”
    Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche — The Sadhana of the Embodiment of all the Siddhas (The Sadhana of Mahamudra). circa 1968

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  346. Sogyal Rinpoche was invited by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and gave 2 day teaching in Merigar West, Italy.

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  347. Quite the contrary — who would want to end up as a screeching harpie? Better by far to get it off your er chest before you shake off your mortal coil — I’m not entirely serious either here or in immediate previous. Attempts at hunour do not always make it through cyber space.

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  348. I can’t imagine comments like those are going to inspire anyone to come forward, Pema.

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  349. And imagine what will happen to S in the bardos…all those screeching harpies….

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  350. Hi Kapasi,
    If all the women came forward they’d fill the Royal Albert Hall…

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  351. As a postscript..recently I heard about someone I know who was sexually assaulted/abused by SR, so what were my thoughts on the matter have now been confirmed. I wonder how many women there are out there who will never come forward and speak out.

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  352. Hmmmm…you do me wrong. I have made some seriously useful connections as a result of this thread. It has opened up- areas where I lacked information and/or corroboration. Also — please blame Harper Collins for the fact that they terminated my contract in 1997 — apparently because they were publishing HHDL and someone leaned on them. I will not present my material for publication in book form again until I knwo for sure that it will see the light oft day. I do a mea culpa for the last few posts. Definitely off topic. Thank you for providing this forum and helping to shed light on the murky landscape of sexual abuse by cjharismatic spiritual leaders.

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  353. I thought you were bemoaning the loss of the golden thread. In recovery we talk about sabotaging one’s recovery. Here you are diverting from
    the topic of the sexual abuse of Sogyal and shooting yourself in the foot. We will close this section now, but you are totally free to take up any theme you like
    on the forum mentioned above. Keep the prize in mind and get your book written!
    When I wrote my thesis I had to suffer from mono mania to get it done. This is your form of escapism Pema.
    Publish or be damned!!! Do not forget I remember you saying in 1997 the book was just about out…….?

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  354. Dialogue Ireland now has some forums:
    http://www.dialogueireland.org/forum

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  355. PS Madhyamika..
    Let’s try to make these parallel lines converge a little? You are talking doctrine, I am talking experience.

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  356. Are you a fully realised Buddha Madhyamika? If so then I am sure you reside permenently in a state of *ordinary mind* beyond relative and absolute. But us more humble neophytes have to make do with acknowledging our path as a process. I think you would agree that even Dzogchenmas/pas virtually never become instantly enlightened…

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  357. philosophical debate by westerners is laughable considering the training their Tibetan counterparts undergo. Nevertheless, even without the years of training Westerners seem well equipped to make the leap into the chasm of spiritual superiority by justifying their egos on the basis of how much they think they know, Even the Tibetans know to study indepth for decades befire making such assumptions

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  358. CONFLATES THE RELATIVE AND THE ABSOLUTE-UH FORM IS EMPTINESS, EMTINESS IS FORM-GUESS THE WHOLE MAHAYANA IS WRONG THEN!

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  359. You really are suffering from a severe case of entrenched views Madhyamika. Suggest you try a period in retreat.

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  360. tha mal gyi shes pa-ordinary mind
    leave philosophy to philosophers-intellectual arrogance is so :Old Gelug Tibet’!

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  361. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for pointing up http://www.rickross.com It is indeed a useful resource on all aspects of cults — the good, the bad and the extremely ugly. There is a Sogyal Lakar strand under Cults, Sects and New Religious Movements. It is way down the list now because it has been idle for some time. Instead the action switched to this forum — which now also appears to have run its course — but to excellent effect. As a result of this forum no-one — be they a Rigpa insider or an external observer — can be under a scintilla of doubt that the ancedotal evidence dismissed by Sogyal’s spin doctors as “rumours” consolidates into an incontrvertible body of corroborated testimony that contradicts the messages perpetrated by the Rigpa web sites and taken on board without critical examination by thousands of deluded spiritual seekers. And one final word ( I promise) on a topic which was related to this thread and gained its own momentum here. Since a poster calling him/herself Madhyamika poured withering scorn on the term *altered states* I have discussed this with several learned Buddhist scholar-practitioners. All aggree that to dismiss *altered states* as a description of the unfolding of contemplative experience is category error. Madhyamika splits philsophical hairs and his/her comments are misleading in that they conflate relative and absolute.

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  362. I think maybe part of the difficulty for the person who is tied into a cult through various factors is that it’s very difficult to reconcile the (purportedly) great teachings with the kind of actions of a number of those who are espousing them (and what set of teachings would be accepted if it didn’t contain at least some demonstrably beneficial elements?). It creates a kind of dissonance that I believe is inconducive to learning. Anxiety decreases intelligence, it’s disruptive, and off-balancing someone is another mind control trick, achievable in a huge variety of ways by the manipulative cult leader .

    Rick Ross has a great website that clearly delineates many of the factors at play http://www.rickross.com , the personal stories are very illuminating. And I recently read an article by Alan Wallace which addresses some of the issues from the Buddhist side, sbinstitute.com/PDF%20AW.org/Tricycle%20Interview.pdf

    This is a very serious topic that should not be permitted to be brushed under the carpet an instant longer. Spiritual and associated betrayal is devastating and real.

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  363. Just back from a 3 week jaunt in the motorhome. Looks like this thread has fizzled out. There are no further devs to report. The only update is that there are now moves afoot to set up a conference in London so that the issue of sexual abuse by charismatic spiritual leaders can be aired in a non-sensational environment. Ideas on how to focus this and what should be included would be most welcome. Running a mental check list on my Sogyal material while driving through a rainstorm on the M6, I realised that if I was to take what I have to the News of the World tomorrow I could sell it for a considerable sum. I have no intention of doing this.

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  364. This ones mine and for now its the last

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  365. The one that was Anonymous…16 july 7.29 am. Go on, give it up!

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  366. was that the last comment or the second last? Anyway, this one is mine and Im not giving it up no matter what anyone says.

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  367. p.s the last comment was mine.

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  368. “I would pointo out that many of the critics on this page are ‘insiders’, Buddhists who are willing to speak out against wrong doing. ”

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. I was talking to the ones who are aware but say nothing.

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  369. While I agree with your last sentiment generally Kapasi. I would pointo out that many of the critics on this page are ‘insiders’, Buddhists who are willing to speak out against wrong doing. The unfortunate misconception of Westerners that ALL conflict should be avoided at ANY cost (several million dollars) has more to do IMO with misconceived quietism clung to by hippy Buddhists of the 1960s who rejected societal norms and personal ordinariness in the mistaken belief that Buddhism makes people ‘different’: a relgion for ‘alternative people’. Many of us now are beginning to realise that there are characterstics already present in ourmundane worlds which we need not abandon. denunciation of wrongdoing being one of them.
    The Tibetans have a saying:
    ‘If there be an enemy to Buddha
    His followers must put on armour’
    I am pretty sure they dont mean the armour of patience and equally certain that enemies of the Buddha do not necessarily lie outside the faith. If lamas use their positions to procure women for sex or for power, thereby endangering the very existence of Dharma in the West. we who are willing to stand and be counted have a duty to put on our armour and fight-hippy euphemisms such as ‘If you have nothing to say, say nothing’ remind me of Niemoller’s pronouncements on the inadequacies of inaction:

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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  370. I shared my story to illustrate how difficult it can be for a young woman to press charges after sexual abuse. People who haven’t gone through the whole ordeal have no idea how hard it is. Some people are too easy with their judgments, I understand very well that some women don’t dare to make the abuse they suffered public. Especially because within Rigpa the teacher is God, and to criticize him is blasphemy and bad karma. Also, it is utterly confusing having to admit that the wise lessons of the Dharma were transmitted by a man who doesn’t live up to the ethics contained in it. People within Rigpa justify this by putting the teacher above all judgment: after all, he is enlightened and we are not so how do we dare question his behaviour? Anyway, all this, and the whole group pressure, makes it even more difficult for women to speak out than in “normal” cases of sexual abuse.

    Very well said, I’ve highlighted it as this point needs to be hammered home. The courage and amount of stress and distress for any woman speaking out against violations is beyond measure. Publicly revealing sexual, mental and physical violations done unto you by a person who occupies a powerful and very respected position must be one of the hardest things to undertake. I think some people think that Janice Doe (and the others) was probably some opportunist who saw a good way of making a bit of easy money, and bringing down a very powerful Tibetan man/buddha. Or it’s all just a bunch of feminists encouraging these dumb women who couldn’t think for themselves and were probably asking for it anyway. The picture is painted of vulnerable, needy, helpless beautiful women being manipulated by others (lawyers, western buddhist feminist teachers etc etc ) in order to fulfill their own wicked agenda.

    It’s worth checking out society’s attitudes as revealed by Amnesty in 2005 by a survey on rape victims:

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/rape%20survey/159090

    Infact, any woman who has to unpick what happened to her and how her feelings of being violated when told something completely opposite was yes, a violation…the mental games that go on are massive. It takes a very strong woman to go through this and then finally say enough is enough, and take a stand. Often it is not done for themselves, as they can’t change the past, but done in order to warn and protect others. I think the abuser is also in need of help and sometimes the only thing that can make them see this is when the law states it. It is not so long ago, that domestic violence was ignored and rape within marriage was taken for granted. Within the buddhist community something similiar is going on. People who would speak out against abuse outside a buddhist community, seem to think it’s fine for someone to experience abuse within.

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  371. Dear ex-Rigpa student, I really feel for you too. I suddenly can’t stop shivering. Yours and Denise’s posts have honestly shown what a monstrosity Rigpa has become. Thankyou both of you for your courage in speaking up about the recent state and mind-set of Rigpa. It is people like yourselves who will have the greatest effect. Mary Finnigan has my email address and I shall be more than happy to be in contact with you so that you will feel safety in numbers with people who are ON YOUR SIDE. My god what you’ve both been through.
    Yes, it is very very sad indeed that due to the “belief system” those young women (the one I met was extremely beautiful) are wasting their lives and deserve so much better. I think that many people will be devastated when the illusion is shattered, as surely it will be, and it must be handled in a very sensitive way. I personally hope that there are still some genuine High Lamas out there who will have the guts to get together and say “enough is enough” and step in. It is painful to be abused and painful still to be disabused. I feel tremendously sad for all concerned.

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  372. I shared my story to illustrate how difficult it can be for a young woman to press charges after sexual abuse. People who haven’t gone through the whole ordeal have no idea how hard it is. Some people are too easy with their judgments, I understand very well that some women don’t dare to make the abuse they suffered public. Especially because within Rigpa the teacher is God, and to criticize him is blasphemy and bad karma. Also, it is utterly confusing having to admit that the wise lessons of the Dharma were transmitted by a man who doesn’t live up to the ethics contained in it. People within Rigpa justify this by putting the teacher above all judgment: after all, he is enlightened and we are not so how do we dare question his behaviour? Anyway, all this, and the whole group pressure, makes it even more difficult for women to speak out than in “normal” cases of sexual abuse. I therefore greatly admire those women who did tell their story to Mary, and I wish them a lot of courage and strength when it comes to a case in court. They are genuine heroines!

    The unfortunate events in my personal life I referred to happened to me a very long time ago and I almost completely recovered from it, also with help from the Dharma I must say.

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  373. http://bouddhanar.blogspot.com/2008/08/allgeance-au-seigneur-sogyal-tmoignage.html

    The autocrat has banned Tibetan openness of the faithful. The Rigpa members are not allowed to follow the teachings of other traditions. This prohibition is shocking even for Tibetans. In Tibet it was natural to seek instructions from several lamas. Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen, a famous dzogchenpa, received teachings from 24 various teachers. In addition, Sogyal proclaims the misogyny (of the Tibetan tradition) owithout giving up the “droit de seigneur” of manipulative gurus. Followers, humiliated by a despotism of another age, wrote to the Dalai Lama * to inform him of the wanderings of the Lord of Lerab Ling. They await the response of religious and political leader of the Tibetan diaspora.

    “Other Dzogchen masters, writes Denise, do not prevent their disciples from receiving the teachings of other masters in order to deepen their knowledge of Dharma. Devotion should certainly not be legitimated by promises or intimidation of a guru. For example, being told you that if you do not meet certain requirements, you will not have access to any teachings. This is an obvious form of manipulation. In any event, the devotion to a teacher should be based on his actions, and each must show discernment.

    On 23 May 2007 I had an interview with Rinpoche (at his request because I exited the 3 year retreat Lerab Ling, after 10 months). The following excerpts concern his sex with a young woman, and the notions of exclusivity and devotion.

    ‘- Everyone here says you are a being awake, you’re in the view .’
    . He nodded and after a moment of silence, he added:

    The Vajrayana always brings obstacles. (He claimed it was the girl that he had made the request.)

    So I said:
    – But since you are awake, how is it that you have been unable to rise above the obstacles?

    After a silence, I focused on what he said about his teachings. He said, inter alia, that “the disciples who went to the master Dzogchen Norbu Rinpoche Namkhai were the rejects of other sanghas ” I told him I did not agree.

    I also asked:
    – Why do you need to constantly repeat your lessons are the best and that you have documents from Dudjom Rinpoche that prove that you are good and reliable? He said that some students wanted to know what kind of man he was.

    Thereafter, I expressed my perception of devotion:
    – For me, the profound Dharma through study, reflection and meditation induces a certainty, greater motivation and stability conducive to true devotion.

    To which he replied:
    – You are too independent for this kind of retreat.

    Devotion and sexual abuse

    Sogyal Rinpoche says that complaints about his sexual abuse are rumors. Of course, it can be argued that in terms of relativity, all is illusion, and that in absolute terms, nothing is, neither self nor spirit. However, we know that the illusion occurs by virtue of interdependence and is still tangible. So how to reconcile the relative and absolute terms in everyday life? What of the suffering caused to western girls, new to Dharma? Are they not too emotionally vulnerable to engage in sexual practices of claimed ‘initiation’?

    To tolerate deviations to avoid breaking the samaya and preserve the Dharma reflects a misunderstanding.

    Addiction is a tragic flaw, especially on the spiritual plane. I think it is good to step back and recognize the dynamics of an organization and find out whether or not there is manipulation. The packaging may be more or less subtle, but nevertheless, once the desire for enlightenment is exacerbated, this can result in tensions and foolish behavior.

    Reality Check

    Rinpoche gives much importance to the rumors, but why if they are unfounded? For example, he took the trouble to send a delegate to the sangha in Montreal to demonstrate that everything was just rumor. Why spend so much money, time and energy on rumors? A totally ridiculous and wrong strategy which led to the departure of some members, given the inconsistency and lack of transparency of the delegate and staff responsible for the Rigpa center of Montreal.

    Was the visit to stem the exodus of disciples and encouraging the return and repent of dissidents?

    Is it not naive to believe that Rigpa, and Sogyal teaching Dzogchen represent an end in itself? The lessons of wisdom are excellent tools on the course, I agree. But it is not necessary to retain a teacher who does not correspond to our values.

    For me, I am very grateful to have received the teachings of the texts and shédras, meditation and study will continue to be part of my everyday life, but outside Rigpa. ”
    Denise, 2008
    > swap

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  374. My heart goes out to you, for what you went through before you got to Rigpa, and for what your learnt about Sogyal Rinpoche on the net, and how it was received by Rigpa.

    I would urge you not to throw away the dharma, and it sounds like you won’t. There are some wonderful teachers out there, but we need to be very, very careful in choosing. There is a lot we can do on our own to prepare to find the right teacher for us. We can practice and take sustenance from a lot of material that is available and teachings already out there, by many great teachers.

    I am not unduly suprised at the reaction. It is indeed, the elephant in the room. Thanks for what you wrote, I imagine that took courage to share.

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  375. “For the woman who presses charges It is a very hard path to walk and takes enormous courage. Not being believed, having your integrity questioned, people doubting your experience, thinking you are lying or making a big fuss out of nothing. Not something one would normally choose to do. It is one thing to be on the receiving end of abuse (sexual, physical, mental, emotional ) and another one to press charges, and receive another sort of very unwelcome attention. Not something anyone would enter lightly, and certainly not just to get some ruling that could be got any number of other ways.”

    That’s exactly what makes it so difficult for the young women concerned to press charges.

    I’ve been through this many years before I entered Rigpa. I had been raped brutally and my lawyer persuaded me to start a lawsuit against the rapist. Pressing charges was almost more dreadful than the actual abuse. Judges doubted my story and questioned me again and again and again. I had to tell my dreadful story many, many times and every time I relived the experience. A nightmare. Newspapers published my initials, and people guessed it was me. The rapist was released from prison after a few years, got hold of my address and that of my parents and friends and started hate-mailing the press about me, and everyone who testifiied in my case and my lawyer received hatemails without end. We all lived in fear for many years.for my rapist was a gun carrying criminal. I felt horribly guilty for putting my loved ones in danger. Anyway….
    I’m sort of over all that now. But I think this experience of many years ago gave me an even bigger shock when I read om the internet about Sogyal Rinpoche’s sexual abuses recently.

    I read the Book of Living and Dying and was very inspired by it. I entered Rigpa, went to retreats several times, but never got completely immersed in it. Something kept me from going all the way, even though I was totally craving for some kind of spiritual healing.

    After a weekend retreat this spring, I came across some websites where Sogyal’s sexual behaviour was discussed. I had been on and off in Rigpa since 2001, but Tibetan Buddhism had become in the meantime my frame of mind.

    So I was totally, totally horrified, and confused. I threw away all my dharma material, all the photographs and the books and the CD’s. I felt empty, I felt I had spend time, energy and money on something that appeared to have been a fraud, and the only thing that cheared me up a little bit was the fact that I had never gone “all the way”. I had always kept my distance, I had never felt at ease in the sangha, I hadn’t liked the incrowd mentality, the slave-like behaviour, the “we are better than people outside Rigpa because we have the Dharma and they don’t” attitude, the sheepishness of many Rigpa followers and the apparent lack of spiritual growth I observed in many “old students”.

    So, I wrote an email to the local Rigpa center telling them what I had discovered on the Internet and how shocked I was. And that I couldn’t be a Rigpa student anymore, because how can a spiritual, God-like, living-Buddha teacher be a sexual abuser at the same time? Utterly disturbing.

    I know somebody who is doing the Three Year Retreat now in Lerab Ling who confirmed to me that SR is having sex with many young beautiful women, but my contact claims the young women involved told him personally that they benefited from their “special connection” with him. I don’t believe that at all.

    A few days after I had sent my goodbye mail, I received a phone call from my local Rigpa director. Very compassionate. Understanding. Never noticed anything etc. I told the person about what I heard from my very reliable contact in Lerab Ling, which actually confirmed what I read on the internet. The end of the conversation: if I ever wanted to come back, or talk about my confusion, I was welcome.

    Two days later, my contact in Lerab Ling mailed me. They had found out that it was he who had given me the information about the girls having sex with Rinpoche. They questioned him about his contact with me and they wanted to know what he had told me.

    Very scary, all this. I’m glad |’m out. But still in a state of shock, utterly disturbed. And: without spiritual solace. I’m not ready yet to start searching for a new “real authentic” Buddhist teacher.

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  376. i think it useful to remember that when Milarepa, Patrul Rinpoche and Naropa received their sartorial blessings, they had all already trained in the path for many, many years, if not lifetimes. My mates girlfriend hadn’t even taken refuge and had been into the Dharma for les than a month. Still, don’t they say that Westerners are very intelligent and dont need….blah, blah, blah…….

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  377. Yes, I think that’s correct it was assault and battery. And presumably there are many who will believe that Sogyal whacking women who have trustingly turned to him in intimate relationships equates to Tilopa whacking Naropa with a shoe, and hey presto they all became enlightened and lived happily ever after.

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  378. Just testing. Posted something here yesterday which didn’t get through.

    Got caught in the moderation queue because it had more than one weblink. Try posting the weblinks in different posts to circumvent it.

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  379. Tiger and Ex-dakini.
    Your courage in speaking out is evident, far easier to slink away, and move on, closing a door on it all. That’s why I don’t believe any woman would take a relish in making up accusations and then pressing charges. No, not even if they were awarded damages. The damages are often the only price the abuser pays, whilst the emotional and mental trauma is a much harder price to pay, and that is something the woman pays who presses the charges. Yes, maybe with the encouragement of lawyers and professional bodies who stand up to serial abusers. Often these cases don’t go to court because they settle out of them. That is the accused person’s decision I believe. They would rather settle out of court. Generally, in the UK it indicates a belief that the evidence is so stacked against them they may as well pay up and get the case shut. I don’t know about US law though would imagine it works along similiar lines. Knowing that paying up does seem to guarantee silence, it is probably an effective damage limitation case.

    For the woman who presses charges It is a very hard path to walk and takes enormous courage. Not being believed, having your integrity questioned, people doubting your experience, thinking you are lying or making a big fuss out of nothing. Not something one would normally choose to do. It is one thing to be on the receiving end of abuse (sexual, physical, mental, emotional ) and another one to press charges, and receive another sort of very unwelcome attention. Not something anyone would enter lightly, and certainly not just to get some ruling that could be got any number of other ways.
    It does feel like we are dealing with something akin to incest here, and I think that is why people are not wanting to look at it. Rather like the mother, sister, brother who knows in his or her heart that there is something amiss between the father and daughter, but refusing to acknowledge it. Easier to turn a blind eye.

    As the woman said (written up on this site):

    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/briefing-document-on-sogyal-rinpoche/

    “I confronted Sogyal first jokingly, then half-heartedly, with my concerns about his behaviour, and I said to him that as a therapist I knew about the transference phenomenon: students see the teacher as kind of a father figure, so sex with the student is psychologically seen as incest. Also, that in the West, the relationship between teacher and student, or priest and the parishioner, must be kept pure, and does not allow for intimate relationships involving sex in any way. He was not amused, and tried to avoid the subject, but he first tried to justify his sexual behaviour spiritually.”

    I imagine, Tiger Lily, that some readers who read that he hit a woman, probably think it was something light hearted, something maybe a bit playful, or even something that would introduce them to the nature of mind. I believe Janice Doe’s claim was assault and battery. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. So I don’t think anyone really wants to go public over this, but in the end do so, in order to protect others and try to prevent it happening again and again and again.

    Maybe students think back to the story of Do Kyentse who rained blows down on Patrul Rinpoche in order to introduce him to the nature of mind.

    Click to access life_stories_great_masters_paper.pdf

    Maybe that is the way to enlightenment? The problem is for every argument I make saying this is wrong, I can probably find something else that says it’s right. In the end you have to make up your own mind on this matter of abuse. I know I have, and it wasn’t an easy or comfortable or quick conclusion to come to.

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  380. Just testing. Posted something here yesterday which didn’t get through.

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  381. Thankyou Kapasi and Madhyamika for your sane posts. Your clear voices from “the outside” are so obviously the correct moral stance. I too find that many ‘good Dharma people’ especially the old ones who have never encountered the difficulties talked about here, prefer to remain in their bliss bubble and distance themselves from any discussion. They clearly do not like their comfort zone to be threatened.
    Ofcourse it is the old story of “The Emperor’s Clothes”
    Some very courageous people are prepared to experience a great deal of unpleasantness in their lives for the sake of truth and justice. I particularly have no personal sense of revenge or spite towards Sogyal. Just a massive commitment to spread information of what I know to be true and to encourage freedom of speech within the Rigpa circles. I know for a fact that it is wrong that many women (and men for different reasons) have come away from Rigpa deeply confused and scarred. It is wrong that even until recently young women have been involved in relationships with Sogyal that they later regretted. Janice Doe over a decade ago complained of being hit by him. The young woman I met last year told me she had also been hit. I just want to say to the senior students of Sogyal, isn’t it time you face up to this problem and do something about it from “within”?

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  382. Its a relief not to be arguing about semantics and to be on cordial terms Madhyamika. You have me guessing of course. If you feel like putting me out of my misery please drop me an email. I’m off air for a while. I hope the debate continues and is fruitful. I look forward to catching up.

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  383. Which brings us full circle to HHs comments after being told about Sogyal ‘Name names in newpapers’ And that is e3xactly what is happening. So for those who claim we are destroyers of the dharma, we are actually following some authorised advice. I cant agree on the keeping things ‘in house’: thats what Rigpa did initially and here we are again.Its also what the Catholic Church in ireland did for years Very public embarassment for very bad behaviour is, while brutal, crude and tasteless, probably the most effective medicine there is. It really is ‘better out than in’!

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  384. Mary, I hope you continue posting here. It was obvious you weren’t disguising who you were. If I have an objection I alluded to it above-that sometimes the personal comments detract from the main issue because it gets too personal. The main reason I object to that, is that it repels people from thinking about the issues involved and they can just dismiss it as a lot of hot air by people with an agenda. Although I guess if you have heard a lot of tough stuff from people personally effected, then your own feelings are going to get coloured. It’s difficult to be objective, but necessary too, as it is an emotive subject. Personally, I am grateful to DI for raising it, in a sort of neutral space, and feel that yes, as Madhyamika said it is a necessary function for the future of the dharma. It’s a shame the buddhist community cannot deal with it within its own four walls so to speak, but because it can’t or won’t, it has spilt out into cyber space. Better out than in as they say! (unfortunate imagery springs to mind-sorry about that)

    It isn’t just an issue of a few women being effected, it effects everyone who gets involved in Rigpa whether they are aware of it or not. If you try to raise your doubts within Rigpa it is considered bad form (or samaya). In other words you can’t discuss it, for it would create more doubts for other students. So they keep a lid on it. You are left with a choice, of put up or shut up. I think ex-Dakini was quite succinct above when she said:

    >”Sogyal seduced women after their first teaching, at their first retreat, when they were young, and when they were in distress. He pressured them to remain in relationships with him with divinations and with promises of marriage among other means. I can testify first or second hand to these things, the piecing together of which led me to eventually believe that Sogyal was abusing his power over me. The longer I was around, the more I learned about the suffering this was causing – not only for unhappy women like myself, but for husbands, boyfriends and families. All the senior students were aware of this, to some degree or another. That this suffering has come back to haunt Sogyal and Rigpa shouldn’t be surprising to you – it is after all karma.”

    “I had hoped that after the lawsuit that Sogyal would change his behavior – at the very least limit himself to a small group of women. Perhaps he has – but it doesn’t sound like it from the renewal of interest in these matters. Most importantly, if Sogyal had ever publicly admitted that he had made mistakes and agreed to change his behavior perhaps then the lawsuit and articles and testimonies could have be buried. But they are resurfacing either because his behavior is continuing, or because the truth was never adequately reckoned with. “

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  385. Yes Mary,
    No worries-you didnt try to hide anything (though I would certainly keep some of your warts hidden) I fully understand exactly what you are doing with Sogyal et al and, while in Tibet it was considered inappropriate to offer advice when it was not asked for, i would simply advise that whenever you do your work, you work hard on your motive first. That way, even if people interpret your work as a personal vendetta, you will know they are wrong.
    I personally hate all this mess we are trying to deal with. What makes it more difficult is the loneliness of it and the constant criticism from ‘nice’ buddhists who adhere to the ;If you have nothing to say, say nothing’ view. Personally, if someone is shafting others in the name of dharma I feel we have a personal responsibility to speak out, for the benefit of all the future generations that might fall victim to these liars and charlatans.
    So I think I know where you are coming from, and i think we are coming from the same place. I wish you every success in your work and Im sure we will get to know each other in the future (We have actually already met-we are vajra brethren) In the meantime, good luck and happy hunting

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  386. I’m not sure how my real name materialised here — I expected to carry on as Pema.

    Browser cache issue. How you signed in anywhere else can alter how you sign in here. It happens unfortunately unless you manually sing in every time.

    It was obvious that you were Pema – your website was in the link for crying out loud. The other poster was clearly being argumentative.

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  387. Not at all sure that I want to carry on posting here. But — thanks to the blog owner for clarifying the Mary Finnigan-Pema confusion. I’m not sure how my real name materialised here — I expected to carry on as Pema. But once it happened, there seemed no point in trying to change it back. I posted for a long time on http://www.rickross.com as Pema. Initially trying to deal effectively with another Tib Budh-related charlatan and sexual predator called Christopher Hansard. Then later about Sogyal. For another cyber-mysterious reason Pema stopped working there. So with Rick Ross’s consent I changed to Blue Dakini. I am not trying to hide, to manipulate or to witch hunt any individual without justification. I try to act according to consistent ethical principles. I am trying to get a publishable story. I failed with Hansard, but after many years of research I am succeeding with Sogyal. It is difficult and at times painful. Members of the UK parliament would still be ripping off taxpayers were it not for The Daily Telegraph. The first round of publicity surrounding the Janice Doe lawsuit curtailed Sogyal’s sexual predations for a short period of time. I would like to see him taken out of circulation as a teacher effectively and permanently. It is my firm conviction that women who approach an international Buddhist organsation with the aim of learning how to meditate deserve better than a sleazy sex addict as their teacher.
    Thanks to Madhyamika and others who spoke up for me.
    And on the subject of altered states (I promise for the last time) — I asked a couple of meditators and a yogi I know personally how they relate to contemplative experiences. Would they describe them as altered states? Of course, they replied more or less in unison…its not like going to the supermarket for a loaf of bread is it? Many aspects of one state — but until we become Buddhas we have to deal with them from our base in the relative world. The insight we gain from this at times tedious and uncomfortable process points us towards a hopefully ever-deepening understanding of the nature of reality. This is not classical Buddhist philosophy and you probably won’t find it in the books. It is simply my own level of understanding — warts an all.

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  388. let’s be fair

    “When will people realise that the content of a message, and not the author, is the important thing.”

    When will people realise that the content of the allegation, and not the author’s motive, is the important thing.

    You have not answered the question and are smokescreening again. Are those who accuse Sogyal of abuse all liars?

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  389. @ Let’s be fair

    You should learn what sockpuppetry is. I knew that Pema was MF as it was blatantly clear from the context. Sockpuppetry is when you hide this in order to create the impression of more support. MF has not engaged in any sockpuppetry on this site. You owe her an apology.

    I do wish that identities were more separately identifiable on this site through a sign-on username. It is difficult to be sure who you’re talking to or to build a picture of them by following their posts. I’ve used one other title, for emphasis: “Other lamas say he’s authentic”. I’ve included my email address in all posts.
    If you’ve used more than one name/title, would you care to link your entries together saying I’ve posted as this, this and this?

    When will people realise that the content of a message, and not the author, is the important thing. To put you at ease, I get an email notification ofr every comment posted on this site with the posters details (such as IP address, etc.) and I regularly check for sockpuppetry. If it happens I will be highlighting such.

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  390. I do wish that identities were more separately identifiable on this site through a sign-on username. It is difficult to be sure who you’re talking to or to build a picture of them by following their posts. I’ve used one other title, for emphasis: “Other lamas say he’s authentic”. I’ve included my email address in all posts.

    If you’ve used more than one name/title, would you care to link your entries together saying I’ve posted as this, this and this?

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  391. ‘Lets be fair
    Elsewhere on this site I find a posting of a photograph of Namkhai Norbu with Sogyal as evidence of the former’s condoning of Sogyal’s activities. Does the photo of the Dalai Lama with Shoko Asahara mean the Dalai Lama condones the murder of 12 innocent commuters on the Tokyo subway in 1995? I think not. Now ask yourself what it tells us about the Dalai Lama’s ability to discern cerain certain characteristics clearly: did he know Asahara would murder? Did he know sogyal would abuse? Interesting questions.
    , you state

    : ‘It seems to me that since you have so much other “evidence” that there is no reason to have this completely unverifiable claim in the document.’

    Is this an admission on your part that everything other than this is true?

    I am trying very hard to find your answer to the question I have posed to you repeatedly: Are all those who have accused Sogyal of sexual abuse here and elsewhere liars?’

    You seem to be fudging the issue, this time by focusing on M Finnigans credentials. Please just answer the question with a yes or no.

    Please answer the question

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  392. I don’t think that changing from Mary Finnigan to Pema whilst carrying on the conversation without hiding that Pema is MF constitutes sock puppetry. Sock puppetry is when you take on another identity claiming to be someone else. MF didn’t do this.

    “So while we are on the subject of retractions care to ask DI to retract the part of the briefing report containing the scurrilous obviously uncorroborated piece of “evidence” that says he settled the case for millions of dollars?”

    He didn’t? It seems to be suggested by ‘ SR is amazing’ that it was Janice Doe that paid him off. Now you’re saying SR didn’t pay Doe off. How do you know this? It’s a shame if it was all false that it wasn’t fought through the courts, rather than settled out of it. It does give an odd impression.

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  393. I don’t think that changing from Mary Finnigan to Pema whilst carrying on the conversation without hiding that Pema is MF constitutes sock puppetry. Sock puppetry is when you take on another identity claiming to be someone else. MF didn’t do this.

    He didn’t? It seems to be suggested by ‘ SR is amazing’ that it was Janice Doe that paid him off. Now you’re saying SR didn’t pay Doe off. How do you know this? It’s a shame if it was all false that it wasn’t fought through the courts, rather than settled out of it. It does give an odd impression.

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  394. Crazywig please read:

    First came tyhe attack on the poster Survivor:

    Mary Finnigan, on July 6th, 2009 at 8:46 pm Said:

    Apologies if this seems cynical — but I doubt the truth of Survivor’s story. I’d put money on it as a fabrication from the Rigpa PR dept. There are many phrases here that crop up on Rigpa web sites. But then perhaps he can keep it zipped now and agin. Anything is possible.

    Then in an apparent slip up:

    Pema, on July 7th, 2009 at 6:23 pm Said:

    Sorry if I appeared harsh re Survivor’s story. Not intentional. But please do not underestimate the machinations of the Rigpa PR. dept. They appear to go to almost any lengths to maintain a cordon sanitaire around Sogyal. For example, when Mick Brown’s feature appeared in the Sunday Telegraph magazine one former Rigpa insider described to me “an extremely unsavoury witch hunt went on to discover the identities of the two women who spoke to Mick Brown.” There have been many more instances of intimidation, smoke screens, diversions and downnright lies since then. For instance, when news of the Janice Doe lawsuit broke, Rigpa issued a Press Release saying that the accusations were without foundation. I think there has been enough evidence in the public domain since then to prove the lie of that particular claim.

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  395. But I do know that not so savvy media propagandist posts sometimes have the name Pema and sometimes the other name that she uses.

    And I reiterate that she has not done so on this site. Care to keep digging on this issue? Or will offer the apology that is due to her?

    The comment you refer to starts with the phrase “It is beleived” which would seem to be the appropriate quantifier. I can’t speak for the DI on this but it would appear that you have deliberately ignored that quantifier to launch yet another attack to distract from the issue at hand.

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  396. The masked crusader crazywig made a declaration and a request:

    I can confirm that Mary has not engaged in any sockpuppetry on this site. Care to retract that accusation?

    I don’t know what sockpuppetry is. But I do know that not so savvy media propagandist posts sometimes have the name Pema and sometimes the other name that she uses. If you read above you will be able to discover it for yourself.

    Thank you or explaining the block quote thing. I hope I got it right.

    So while we are on the subject of retractions care to ask DI to retract the part of the briefing report containing the scurrilous obviously uncorroborated piece of “evidence” that says he settled the case for millions of dollars?

    It seems to me that since you have so much other “evidence” that there is no reason to have this completely unverifiable claim in the document.

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  397. Outcast?: i subscribe to the glimpse of the day email. I see that I didn’t get one today either. I should think this is a technical glitch. I’m sure you will get a reply to your email query when whoever is responsible gets time to do so. I don’t think it’s being handled by a 24×7 call-centre. Was it info@rigpa.ie you sent it to?

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  398. The irresponsible, savvy media propagandist who goes under at least two or three monikers on the site

    I can confirm that Mary has not engaged in any sockpuppetry on this site. Care to retract that accusation?

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  399. Oh come on, name names. Mary Finnigan knows who you mean by savvy medias professional (you need to read the papers more BTW)
    It is easy to be mistaken about the author of TBLD, sinceat least 2 names are bandied around (neither being Sogyal-Patrick seems like a good bet)
    Your photo evidence is as convincing as the Aum Shinrikyo image of Asahara with HH-does the image mean the two were good friends?
    But your doing it again. Do you really believe its an anti Sogyal racist witch hunt run by dishonest western buddhist teachers jealous of S position?
    Havinf tried to point the finger at the whole universe EXCEPT Sogyal by making your numerous allegations of jealousy , racism, lust for power, now you attack Ms Finnigan’s journalism. Whatever next?
    Please answer me one question: are all the people who have made allegations liars?

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  400. The irresponsible, savvy media propagandist who goes under at least two or three monikers on the site, when not writing unique , original treatises on subtle points of buddhist philosophy not found anywhere else, appears to have mastered the talent of spreading misleading information in other areas as well.

    For example, she makes the claim that Chögyal Namkhai Norbu knows everything about the allegations around Sogyal Rinpoche and therefore shuns him. We can assume the part about “knows the allegations against Sogyal Rinpoche” because after His Holiness the Dalai Lama he is the most famous, most discussed lama in the world. I seriously doubt that Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche is unaware of them but I digress.

    When Sogyal Rinpoche has been a guest at my home, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu called on at least one or two occasions to say hi. Last summer his son came to visit Lerab Ling bringing a boat load of gifts for Sogyal Rinpoche. But don’t take my word for it.

    Here is a link to photo of Sogyal Rinpoche and Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche together taken from last fall.

    You were mistaken about your claim for who authored TBLD. You were wrong about the terms of the settlement of the lawsuit (which you have posted other places). You were wrong about Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche a master you claimed to now quite well. Your explanation of “altered states” was at least original.

    What kind of a journalist does this kind of shoddy research?

    So savvy media professional/propagandist, explain why we are supposed to believe anything you say?

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  401. I agree kapasi, though I must say, I find i am frequently interpeted as antagonistic when I am not being. I guess some people have a way that comes across like that on the net. On the other hand, I am not willing to pretend to be ‘nice’ to fit in with Western, liberal interpretations of what we ‘ought’ to be. It may be skilful to be diplomatic (a skill I envy) but I prefer honesty. I respect your view but if i disagree, I will say so.Those who agree to your face but disagree mentally are far from the truth.

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  402. It might also help to talk with some respect about the women and Sogyal Rinpoche also, even if you don’t think it’s deserved. To many people he is deserving of it, and the women also. They are all human, and I feel that some of the comments don’t encourage an open dialogue which, I feel, is badly needed. It maybe best to keep very personal remarks to yourself so it’s not entirely tainted. I think this is a discussion that is needed, but dislike the verbal slagging off that seems to permeate it.

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  403. Exactly the point of DIs intervention. No one there said a dicky bird about Buddhism. The whole thing is about a teacher in a position of power abusing that position for personal gain. The attacks on Sogyal’s Buddhism were external introductions. primarily from disgruntled ex followers. There have been so many sidetracks here, some from pro Sogyals, others from purported neutrals, others from critics. All DI did was make already available info prominent so that people could make informed decisions about entering into a relationship with Sogyal. It has never been an attack on Buddhism by a Christian group-that was the Buddhists!

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  404. It’s probably an error. I guess they don’t know what to say to people, hence the lack of reply. I’m guessing of course.

    May I just add that I am not questioning him as a teacher, more the abuse of power to the young women who get caught up. Sure it’s not every pretty young woman who gets tangled up either, but some. Maybe not many in contrast to the number of people he does benefit. I am not sure though it’s just women who are effected negatively, sometimes it’s the partner’s and maybe even the odd father here or there. It is a kind of betrayal. It could be seen as a teaching. It probably is seen as a teaching by some who may also claim that it isn’t negative but positive. Thing is when someone is abusive and tells you they love you, it’s classic stuff. Some people familiar with how abuseive relationships operate will recognise it as such, others won’t. Maybe they would if it was a spouse, but because it is a powerful guru, then anything goes. That is the concern.

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  405. I’m not very sure there’s going to be one.

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  406. Do keep us informed of the content of your eventual reply. Hi Mary!

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  407. Hello,

    I’ve been following this debate for the last couple of days with great interest. All of this controversy surrounding Rigpa and SR is totally new to me, despite the fact that I’ve attended a few of Rigpa’s courses and meditated for about 7 years using Dzogchen methods. I found it all a bit of a shock and, as such, I sent an email to Rigpa in the vein of ‘Wow, can’t believe what I just read on the Internet, shock horror, say it ain’t so’ kind of thing.

    I’ve had no response but, oddly enough, I’ve not been receiving my Rigpa Glimpse of the Day email alert that normally arrives like clockwork in my account. Weird! Coincidental technical hitch or petty warning shot telling me to take the hint and stop asking questions/bugger off?

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  408. I have no idea what is going on with you Madyhamika — but you seem to be in a very volatile state on mind. Playing with words? Tying yourself in philsophical knots? You know as well as I do that:
    Deity visualisation is an altered state
    Chine is an altered state
    Tigles are an altered state
    Shunyata is an altered state
    Semde -mind
    Longde-space
    Managde – integration
    You sound like a mid 60s hippie — “Its all ONE man!”
    You can spew out as many snide remarks as you like from now onwards. This is my last response to your childish provocations.

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  409. ‘Time to move on?’ I’ve been on his case for a few days. How about you?

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  410. ‘There is no point at all in meditating if you do not experience altered states. Of course ultimate realisation goes beyond phenomena.’

    Wow, I cant believe that Im hearing someone I thought was a Dzog Chen practitioner saying this.

    ‘Altered’ means ‘changed’. Padampa says:

    ‘Capture that most sublime of countries, the constant land of the natural state…where there is no transition or change.’

    It is our normal experience which is constantly ‘altered’.

    As for: ‘Ultimate realisation goes beyond phenomena’ Err? Heart Sutra: ‘Form is emptiness, emptiness is form’ etc.

    Seeking a state ‘beyond phenomena’ rejects relative reality as impure. It is very much akin to Tzong Ka pa’s interpretation of the ordinary Prasangika and verges on the nihilistic. have you been reading Kelsang Gyatso???

    Please, stick to the critiques of Sogyal’s conduct and leave the philosophy to the philosophers.

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  411. No of course not. They are pragmatists. S contributes loadsadough into the diaspora coffers. And they never break ranks. Also my experience of Trulshik R leads me to believe that he doesn’t know about the breadth and depth of Sogyal’s depravity. About the beatings and the humiliation for examples. Some lamas who do know about S’s nasty habits shun him. Akong R for example and Ch. Namkhai Norbu.

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  412. So, by your reckoning MF, these other lamas are duplicitous, have no ethical standing and perhaps should not be trusted. Shall we throw all those lamas in the bin?

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  413. I beg to differ. There is no point at all in meditating if you do not experience altered states. Of course ultimate realisation goes beyond phenomena. This is not questioned. But in order to reach the state of Rigpa, *One Taste*, integration, essential nature etc one has to go through many levels of contemplative experience. The Theravadins call this journey the jnanas.
    Madhyamika — I have the impression you contradict me just for the sake of it. We have discussed Sogyal’s odious personal habits at length here. Time to move on? Several posters have raised relevant additional issues. Other lamas say he’s authentic —other lamas reflect the (in)famous Tibetan pragmatism discussed earlier in this thread. Also S BUYS his status — while his institutions are staffed with slave labour and supported by welfare states. I wonder how much HHDL received to show up at the Lerab Ling inauguration for example? Fairplay — your account is very touching and it would be churlish to take issue with it. But please believe me, I have heard from several sources who were close to S that he never does any form of personal practice and never meditates when he is off duty.

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  414. Here, here. if you want to experience ‘altered states’ ,drop acid (or bleach). If you want to experience reality, practice genuine Dharma. MF is straying from the point when she focuses on Sogyal’s abilities as a meditation teacher; experience of such is very subjective. Its the dark side that is the focus of this site; sex, money etc All too often here the attack has been on the Dharma. DI does not advocate a unliateral faith perspective and seemingly respects all faiths. However, it clearly tolerates miscreants in none.
    Again and again, this issue is being fogged by,perhaps unintentional, sidetracks. The issue is about sexual abuse-period.

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  415. ‘Experiencing an altered state’ is neither the issue nor the purpose of meditation practice, just another form of spiritual materialism. Looking for or clinging to such ‘altered states’ just gets in the way of spiritual development.

    Much as I dislike Rigpa as an organization, I have to reiterate that the meditation courses taught are beneficial to most who attend them. But they are not, nor are they meant to be, vehicles through which to seek ‘altered states’. It seems the ‘teacher & former 3-year retreatant ‘ has missed the point.

    Of course, setting up a centre to support the dying is a worthy enterprise, but why such a grandiose architectural construction costing millions & top-heavy with ‘administrators’ is necessary to provide respite for 4 individuals is questionable. Another Rigpa showcase.

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  416. Anon said: “I would kiss Trulshik Rinpoche’s feet, but would feel very uncomfortable visiting him at any of Sogyal’s centres.I strongly suspect that most lamas that visit Rigpa are there to make links or poach disciples, for the benefit of the disciples of course.”

    I have attended Rigpa retreats with quite a few other lamas including HH Dalai Lama and Trulshik Rinpoche. They all held Sogyal Rinpoche in highest esteme telling students how fortunate they were to have him as a teacher. I would imagine that if they were trying to save or poach students, they would avoid saying anything positive about SR. But as it happens, they underline his authenticity.

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  417. Again, while some here doubt Sogyal’s authenticity, others have stated it is not the efficacy of his teachings that is in doubt; rather it is his personal behaviour. Your mail addresses the first issue well. It says nothing about the latter. Many consider the latter far more important than the former.

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  418. Like others writing here I am not usually a contributor to internet chat sites, however, having read through the posts above I felt that the need to add my own experience of Sogyal Rinpoche and Rigpa to be considered along with the other points of view. I’m not interested in challenging particular posters here, however, there are things written here that I know personally to be completely untrue.

    Like many people in Ireland, I experienced physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse as a child. Years of therapy and guidance supported me in healing the deep trauma of my experience, and I went on to train as a therapist myself. I have a well honed and sharp instinct for sensing abusers and sexual predators. In this area of my life I am no innocent and certainly nobody’s fool.

    I first met Sogyal Rinpoche at a retreat in the UK. My single memory of this retreat is ‘sitting in silence’ with Rinpoche, awestruck at the atmosphere of peace and calm, and for the first time in my life experienced my mind opening to a place of freedom, expansiveness and the most profound sense of peace. This was the moment that all the pain of my childhood dissolved into what I can only describe crudely as a place beyond my suffering that was completely well and utterly untarnished by any tough experience. My healing had truly begun. I have never forgotten it.

    This is the reason I have carried on over the years attending Rigpa retreats in Ireland and the UK (and from other traditions too). Many times I have experienced this same feeling sitting with Rinpoche and it leaves me in no doubt as to the authenicity of his accomplishment and his power as a teacher and practitioner.

    I am no Rigpa poodle, have no vested interest in its operations, other than to admire and be inspired by its many projects. How on earth can the building of a centre to support people at the time of their death be considered in a negative light?

    To sit and practice with Sogyal Rinpoche has been the greatest joy for me on any retreat. To read from some of the posters that he doesnt practice or do silent sitting just makes me smile sadly at the utter untruth of it. For the record Rinpoche even sat with people at a pubic talk in Ireland (over 700 people attended) a few years ago! On every retreat I have ever attended with Rinpoche, sitting and practising with him has been a central part of the schedule.

    Sogyal Rinpoche is clearly unconventional in how he works with his students. This I have seen myself on many occasions. However, I can only go on my own experience of witnessing this being done in the most compassionate way. My life has been transformed by being fortunate enough to meet Sogyal Rinpoche and the teachings. It would be a crying shame if any of the critical postings prevented someone from benefiting from them too.

    Sogyal Rinpoche is truly an authentic and accomplished master. This I know deep in my heart because of countless experiences over the years of witnessing the clarity and power of his teachings, and the inner transformation that they have brought in my own mind. This is ultimately what I rely on and as I said I am nobody’s fool.

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  419. Teachings are only authentic when they pass from a lineage holder who has internal experience. The problem here is the medium not the message.

    I would kiss Trulshik Rinpoche’s feet, but would feel very uncomfortable visiting him at any of Sogyal’s centres.I strongly suspect that most lamas that visit Rigpa are there to make links or poach disciples, for the benefit of the disciples of course.

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  420. The trouble with Sogyal’s *authentic* teachings as far as I have learned from research carried out since 1994 — and from personal experience — is that they don’t work. One person who was a teacher within Rigpa and a fugitive from the 3 year retreat at Lerab Ling assured me recently that he had never experienced any form of altered state. A few years ago I went to Rigpa London to see Trulshik Rinpoche, whom I knew from staying at his monastery in Nepal and for whom I have the highest regard. The shrine room was jam packed. We muttered the 100 syllable mantra for some time before Trulshik R appeared on stage with his monks. A short ceremony ensued. It was totally bland and without any resonance of my previous experience of this highly evolved Nyingma yogi. I suspect that visiting lamas are told to *keep it simple*. I accept that some people like to study and treat Buddhism as an intellectual stimulus, but surely the purpose of meditation is to access subtle realms of experience? As always, the problem emanates from Sogyal. Several people from his inner circle I have interviewed state that he never does any form of practice and never does silent sitting.

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  421. I believe these accounts relate to 2001, not 2002-2009. Nor do they delineate how much of Rigpa’s income comes via State benefit systems (although Im sure no such record is kept) Coincidentally, I note one name on the document of a person who has since alleged abuse against Sogyal.

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  422. Having been in and around Rigpa for many years I’ve seen a lot of people benefit from the authentic teachings as given by Sogyal Rinpoche; I’ve also seen a lot of people become disenchanted with the increasing rigidity & dogmatism of Rigpa. It’s a bit like the early T.M. movement in that meditating twice a day for whatever period of time is beneficial for most people but involvement in the mega-organization T.M. became & Rigpa has become has many pitfalls. There are reasons why authentic teachers want you to spend a lot of time getting to know them before making a commitment.

    Be very wary of blind acceptance & grandiose projects!

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  423. Re: volunteers at Dzogchen Beara. While paying a low wage to a few permanent staff Dzogchen Beara has many unpaid volunteers. Unpaid by Rigpa, that is. They are paid for by the Irish taxpayer since a large number of them, intelligent, educated & able-bodied, are drawing the dole while working full time at Dzogchen Beara. How do they get away with it?

    Why don’t Rigpa &/or Dzogchen Beara publish their accounts? They are listed as a charity but no accounts as published by legitimate charities are available from them.

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  424. That is certainly one of the most important contributory factors.

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  425. It seems we are all agreed on one thing at least-that it is an abuse of power.

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  426. Well. lets not start telling the whole of Tibetan Buddhism what it needs to do to fit in with present mores. Remember, we adjust the mind and behaviour to fit the religion, not the other way round.

    In fact, Tibetan Buddhism advises that we examine the teacher long and hard before entering into a relationship with him or her. And there’s the rub: like Sogyal, his prey have not spent much time examining. I remember him seducing one colleague after only a few weeks of her meeting Dharma (she is no longer involved in Dharma AFAIK)

    So, the whole situation arises in dependence on the manipulation of one and the ignorance of the other, The fault lies not with the faith but the manipulation of Sogyal and the naivety of his victims. If he behaved ethically and they did what they should (which they obviously couldnt because they didnt know) then perhaps none of this would have happened.

    This is one of the BIG problems in the West for Buddhism. the lack of critical thinking being employed before entering into a relationship with a guru/organisation. This, combined with the fact that there are more than a few Tibetans ‘on the make’ (Some seem to want to be ‘Rinpoches’ in much the same way as Western X Factor generation kids want to be ‘famous’ when they grow up but arent quite sure what for) is a recipe for disaster.

    One contributor here advised that public figures Google the names of people before developing a relationship with them. How much more so is this important for we tiny bugs? Think how much pain wouldve been avoided if critical judgement had not been suspended as the guru smilingly placed his hand on our knee. People, like politicians and bankers. need to investigate before they invest. Fortunately, there are more and more sites like this to help people make such informed decisions.

    How many people would have devoted themselves to Sangharakshita and the FWBO if they knew he had a history of sexual abuse? How many people would have gone to the NKT if they had known most Tibetans think they are spirit worshippers doing the Chinese Communist Party’s dirty work for them?

    No, the problem is not the faith. The problem is lack of information, the exploitativeness of gurus (of all colours) and an unwillingness to investigate of Westerners who have suspended judgement as they passed, glassy eyed, through the gates of Shangri la.

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  427. Madhyamika — while I appreciate that you make a valid point, I think one also has to acknowledge that the Sogyal saga is not a singularity. It is a complex scenario, interwoven with many subtexts. The over-arching issue is power abuse. This breaks down into
    sexual abuse
    financial abuse
    personality cult
    dysfuntional social milieu
    As someone said in another thread on this blog — the whole of Tibetan Buddhism in the developed world needs to go through a re-evaluation process because it has become a magnet for power freaks. And thereby hangs the crux of the matter. The esoteric traditions which include power in their spiritual schema have tradionally been super-secretive and elitist. While mainstream religions have focussed power into the domain of the priesthood, the esoteric traditions empower people to generate it for themselves. Awareness of the snake pits inherent in this accounts for the secrecy and elitism. It also accounts for the hugely demanding, long and arduous training imposed on neophytes in times past. Nowadays Tantric initiations are distributed to all comers like sweeties at a village fete. And people like Sogyal who never went through the arduous training rise to positions of power and influence way beyond their capabilities. In my view S knows he is out of his depth and probably secretly wishes it was all over and he could retire to a Caribbean island with an endless supply of adoring females, gourmet food, porn videos and Cuban cigars.

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  428. “Forget others motives. Adult ritualised sexual abuse is wrong. If I sell a story about child abuse to a paper, not because i care about children, but for money, does that make the abuse any less improper?”

    No, of course not, but for women who already feel they’ve been through the emotional wringer then they need to be very sure they know what they are letting themselves in for by disclosing information about this. I think there is some truth in the saying that you’re only as sick as your secrets. If the motivation is to speak out, in order, that others are alerted and thereby protected, then you are probably going to be fine. I think there will inevitably be resentment and distrust towards women who do have the courage to speak out. Remember that for many Rigpa students, this would seem not to concern them at all. They may think it is nothing to do with them what SR gets up to, and if some stupid woman wants to play with fire then they better watch out and not get burnt, etc etc.

    Personally, I think that has nothing to do with East meets West, nor Tantric sex, but more to do with the sort of ethos that was around in the West when the pill liberated women and we all slept about in the late 60’s, 70’s. More sex n’ drugs n’ rock n’ roll but spiritualized and dressed up as something else. What it boils down to can be found in many instances whereby a woman seeks the help of a man (therapists and clients etc) and leaves aside her thinking mind and has trust to someone who she thinks will help her. It is abuse of power.

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  429. People here appear to be losing sight of the important issue by focusing on numerous secondary ones, particularly the motive of critics: ulterior motives, jealousy, racism(!), financial considerations; the list grows each day.

    Let’s not lose focus on this. Sogyal appears to have been using his position to procure a significant number of women for sex, seemingly by telling some it was spiritual in nature. That, as the briefing document makes clear, is adult ritualised sexual abuse.

    Forget others motives. Adult ritualised sexual abuse is wrong. If I sell a story about child abuse to a paper, not because i care about children, but for money, does that make the abuse any less improper? Obviously not. irregardless of all the different potential motives, the actions themselves are wrong. We should never lose sight of this by becoming enmeshed in the undergrowth of secondary considerations.

    Its a common human tendency to focus on the faults of those who criticise us rather than look at ourselves. What we are seeing here is just that tendency. Attack as they say, is the best form of defence. It is also a well known and indeed codified tactic of the Scientologist cult known as ‘Attack the attacker’http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_controversies#.22Attack_the_Attacker.22_policy

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  430. Sorry if I appeared harsh re Survivor’s story. Not intentional. But please do not underestimate the machinations of the Rigpa PR. dept. They appear to go to almost any lengths to maintain a cordon sanitaire around Sogyal. For example, when Mick Brown’s feature appeared in the Sunday Telegraph magazine one former Rigpa insider described to me “an extremely unsavoury witch hunt went on to discover the identities of the two women who spoke to Mick Brown.” There have been many more instances of intimidation, smoke screens, diversions and downnright lies since then. For instance, when news of the Janice Doe lawsuit broke, Rigpa issued a Press Release saying that the accusations were without foundation. I think there has been enough evidence in the public domain since then to prove the lie of that particular claim.

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  431. Yes, his closest followers have created a closed society around him, much like the feudal court that Trungpa chose to emanate in his immediate vicinity, perhaps for his own protection, perhaps to show the hipocrisy of such a set up. Within this time warp, they have convinced themselves that they are preserving the last vestiges of an ancient tantric society, a society with mores much at odds with those of our own. In this way, they can convince themselves that it is the world, with its deluded and transitory values which is at fault, while their own little universe, founded as it is on ‘tantric’ values, perpetuates the continuum of reality underlying our illusory world.

    Sorry! Sogyal’s body is in the West, and those who follow him are very much the products of Western culture. If he wishes to benefit the many here, he must learn to live according to the rules of the land. The gilded cage of the Rigpa sangha deserves to be rattled, if only to wake them up to the fact that all is not well in the court of the little emperor. Otherwise, they become the Buddhist counterpart of Special brew swigging lager louts who reject ‘society’ as a nasty industrial, money driven mess, while at the same time signing on every two weeks, using state funds to pay for their addictions.

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  432. The “young woman” I referred to in my post is indeed not ex Rigpa ‘Dakini’ My apologies to ex Rigpa ‘dakini’
    for any possible misunderstanding. I was trying to protect the young lady’s identity. Mary Finnigan had mentioned her in an earlier post and I wanted to verify that this person exists because I have met her and have heard directly from her much of her own account..
    What is at issue here in this dialogue is that to my knowledge women have had their lives damaged as a result of meeting Sogyal and becoming involved with Rigpa. His sexual behaviour is totally inappropriate and distressing to many women who have become involved with him. It cannot be allowed to continue.
    The inner circle of Rigpa seems to have become a closed society and I doubt if it has anything to do with real Vajrayana Teachings. I hope soon that there will be a formal Inquiry. Furthermore i would like to say that I once knew Sogyal very well and was very fond of him for the good qualities I felt he had. But honestly, I have to say it and I speak with first hand experience, I had grave doubts that I was just being used to provide sexual gratification. I left Rigpa (still on fairly good terms with Sogyal and leaving some good friends behind) long before the Janice Doe case. When I read about it in the papers and learnt more about it from other ex Rigpa people I became very concerned.
    More profoundly so when i talked with the young woman who was with Sogyal at Lerabling.
    I can very well understand how women do not like to talk about it. It’s painful to expose oneself to criticism.
    I would much rather turn my back and walk away from it all. But I know that if I do I will be acting in a highly irresponsible way.

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  433. All the dramatics apart, leaving aside Ms Finnigan’s stance and its perceived shortcomings, it would be good to remain focused on the issue here.
    Sogyal has been a very naughty boy. Some of his disciples, acting of their own accord or otherwise, are now trying to tell ‘the other side’.
    Lets just clarify: nobody is saying he isnt a decent meditation teacher. He might even be a ‘very nice man’. However, he HAS been using his position to procure naive young women for his harem. As a representative of Buddhism in the West, he has an obligation not to do this.

    Re paint the whole thing in a Christian context. OK he is not a priest, but if he is lay preching sermons and then screwing numerous members of the congregation, leaving some psychologically and emotionally damaged, and feeling abused, that is wrong. Tough shit from a Tibetan tantric viewpoint; sexual abuse from a Western one. And he is doing this in the West, not in Tibet.That is the issue.

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  434. I doubt very much anyone from Rigpa PR as you call it, Mary, would make something up like that. I think most of the people there are probably just as confused by Sogyal’s dalliances as anyone else, but lying and making it up-no.

    Like I said, upthread, I think any woman who has been damaged by this, does need to think carefully before talking to the media. It won’t be your best interessts they have in their heart. Better off go to Inform or Witness. I think it would be all too easy to be yet another pawn in the game. Protect yourself.

    Thanks Ex Dakini for that clarification.

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  435. You are doing a disservice to your cause, to the purpose of Dialogue Ireland (which I thought was supposed to be dialogue), and the women you supposedly represent.

    Erm….Mary Finnegan isn’t part of Dialogue Ireland……

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  436. I just want to clarify something: The woman Tiger Lily refers to is not me. I have never met her or Mary Finnegan.

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  437. Mary, I find it shocking that you immediately dismiss the truth of Survior’s story in such a vulgar fashion. I’ve been following this thread quietly until now to try to figure out what is the truth, but if that is the way a woman who supposedly cares for the well being of other women reacts when another woman (Survivor) shares her personal story of childhood rape and abuse, then it leads me to believe that you do not really care about any of these women themselves, but more about your own personal agenda. You are doing a disservice to your cause, to the purpose of Dialogue Ireland (which I thought was supposed to be dialogue), and the women you supposedly represent.

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  438. Doh! I know why such a relationship is abusive, doh!

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  439. Well Survivor
    have you ever thought that maybe he just didnt fancy you?
    Kapasi
    Read the briefing document on Sogyal-it explains clearly why such a relationship is abusive

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  440. “Having a keen sense of what each individual needs, he has always been especially gentle with me, allowing me to heal in my own time. And – just in case you were wondering I was never his lover.”

    Survivor, thanks for your story. It’s very touching. However, I would query the above quote. Are you suggesting that the women who have had damaging relationships with SR deserved it?

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  441. I just want to say thanks to Tiger Lily and ex-Rigpa Dakini for speaking of their experiences, it takes courage to do that. It also shows to me that it is not just one or two ‘dodgy’ people with an agenda against Sogyal R. Thanks to Anonymous for posting the Mick Brown link. It’s very comprehensive and fair, I think. I hadn’t read that before, but I do find it kind of stunning that the inference that ‘SR is amazing’ mentions is more important to her/him than some of the women speaking out about the negative effects upon them. It is almost comforting to consider that this is all down to the jealousy of Western buddhist teachers who want to out manouevre the ‘exotic’ Tibetan teachers. Meanwhile it doesn’t help the very real women whose lives and spiritual paths were/are jeopardized. It can take a long time to recover. If he had chosen long established practitioners who had a stable practice it might be a different story, but it seems that the only qualification is a woman’s looks.

    I think the argument that they are all adults too is a bit irrelevant in this situation. A lot of people turning to a spiritual path come from damaged backgrounds and are vulnerable. Personally, I think healthy boundaries are a necessity, whereas Vajrayana seems to advocate no boundaries.

    I guess the bottom line (excuse the pun) is that if this is sanctioned by the Rigpa trustees and senior students, then fine, but please lets have it out in the open and discussed rather than pretending nothing is going on and it’s all some conspiracy against SR, and a witch-hunt.

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  442. Apologies if this seems cynical — but I doubt the truth of Survivor’s story. I’d put money on it as a fabrication from the Rigpa PR dept. There are many phrases here that crop up on Rigpa web sites. But then perhaps he can keep it zipped now and agin. Anything is possible.

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  443. Dear friends,
    I wouldn’t normally respond to posts on the internet and certainly not tell my personal story, as I’m about to. But this time there seems to be a need for that, even though it’s painful for me to tell it.

    Just to give you the context: When I began to study with Sogyal Rinpoche about 17 years ago, I was a young woman who had been considered especially attractive since being a young girl. It’s a bit awkward to say something like that about oneself – but here I just want you to know where I was coming from: being a beautiful young woman also meant to constantly have predators around and having to be on guard.

    And I was especially on guard, because I had been badly traumatized. As a child – actually I had been brutally gang-raped at age 8. Needless to say that I had grown extra sensitive antennas to any sexual vibes coming towards me and always erring on the side of feeling threatened.

    On top of that, my father had been quite abusive and I grew up with a constant fear of abusive males in general.

    So At the age of 23 I had already had one mixed experience with a Buddhist group. But after attending a talk by Sogyal Rinpoche in Berlin I knew I wanted to study further with him. In a short time I became quite close to him, often spending periods of time alone with him in my home and other places. If Sogyal Rinpoche had even remotely resembled an abusive sexual predator, I would have smelled that right away and left feeling sorry for his students.

    But instead I haven’t felt unsafe around him for a single instant. Noone has ever shown such profound respect for me nor treated me with more love and kindness. Just through this, Rinpoche disarmed my patterns of shame and self-hate again and again. Having a keen sense of what each individual needs, he has always been especially gentle with me, allowing me to heal in my own time. And – just in case you were wondering I was never his lover.

    Sogyal Rinpoche saved and healed my life with his wisdom and kindness. He constantly inquired about why I was so fearful and in pain all the time – and then he didn’t get tired of showing me ways to heal, until I truly got it.

    The reason I have decided to come forward with my story should be pretty obvious. The Sogyal Rinpoche that I met is nothing like the portrait painted by some of the people posting on this website.

    My story is far from unique. While it is true that there are many women around Rinpoche, there are also many men. I know them all. All of them feel that Rinpoche has tremendously benefited their lives and has never caused them any harm. In fact, there are literally thousands of people who can say that Rinpoche has helped them enormously. I can’t say that Rinpoche never behaves in a provocative fashion; I can only say that I never saw him act in a way that was not based on compassion and care. I believe I have spent enough close personal time with him to state it definitively.

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  444. For a very interesting analysis of cult leader behavior and especially why sexual greed so often shows up as part of it, get and read Mr Colin Wilson’s book, Rogue Messiahs.

    One thing that is very helpful in Wilson’s book is he states that having a sense of purpose, is essential for living at full human potential.

    We are attracted to projects such as Rigpa because from the outside and especialy if PR is adroitly done, these offer access to a transformational process that often starts out well, and can actually support human development.

    And, the energy level of such a group tends to run high.

    The problem, according to Mr Wilson, is that too many leaders are able to orchestrate this level of group purpose and energy, can assist many persons to reach levels of development that they could not reach on their own

    But and this is a very big but, the leaders though chrismatically gifted, are flawed in character.

    They cannot resist the temptations of power and all too often become addicted to power, easy living and easy gratification of sexual urges.

    In Buddhadharma the check on all this is supposed to be the Bodhisattva Precepts and the understanding of afflictive emotions and of cause and effect.

    No leader, however charismatic or gifted, can ever free us from our own karma. At best, such a person can teach us methods and use charisma to create a setting that supports practitioners efforts.

    The test of a Buddhist practice center is to focus on the teachings of Buddha, never on the personality of the teacher.

    One of the Bodhisattva Precepts advises (translations differ) ‘Beware of darkening mind and body of self and other with intoxicants.’

    Charisma, fame, concern for a teacher or groups public reputation, and greed for sex, power and money are all intoxicants.

    And, finally if we are discussing a teacher from a tradition where it is permissible for a teacher to engage in sexual relations…

    If a teacher had pure view, he would see Buddha in all beings, not just young, pretty girls.

    If a male teacher claims he is motivated by Buddha Nature and yet is only having sex with young pretty girls, he’s driven by ordinary male ego, not by Buddha Nature.

    It may be asking too much to insist that prospective disciples Google a teacher before getting involved. When we seek a sense of purpose in life, we are in the grip of something that is different from prudence and logic–states of mind needed to fact check a teacher.

    However–the President of Ireland and all politicans, famous scientists, writers, professionals and all celebrities should be sure to Google check all religious leaders and gurus before visiting their centers and permitting themselves to be photographed.

    If you are a political leader or celebrity, your physicial presence is indeed a tacit endorsement .

    And persons in professions such as medicine, law and yes, science, need to recognize they are high value recruits for ambitious and dodgy gurus. They will never be shown the seamy side of the organization. But their presence gives it legitimacy that is spurious.

    Persons who run yoga studios are also high value recruits..they put the gurus picture on their walls, the clients ask questions, and bingo! the guru gets recruits. The owner of the yoga studio will be kept well in the dark about abuses and be carefully flattered by the guru.

    So..maybe disciples cant be made to fact check. But persons in the healing professions, academics, celebrities and heads of state all need to fact check any guru or alleged spiritual project before they pay it a visit and let their pictures be taken.

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  445. I have been in contact with Mary Finnigan for a number of years now and have given my permission for her to use my statement of my experience of Rigpa and Sogyal under a pseudonym, Last year she brought to my house the young woman mentioned above who told me of her own time as an attendant “dakini” to Sogyal. I was profoundly shocked. Her account rang true because I had been a girlfriend of Sogyal’s many years ago and knew what he could be like and how the devoted students of Sogyal would cover up his behaviour. What really shocked me was that she and the other women were encouraged to think of themselves as Consorts. Call girls would be a more appropriate description. I cannot go into further detail here of her account, only to say that it is serious stuff and the only conclusion that I can draw is that Sogyal has become deluded from all the adulation he has received over the years surrounded by yes-people,
    For me personally it is very sad. i have suffered a great deal as a result of realising that all my good intentions were wasted on supporting Rigpa. His addictive sexual behaviour. (I can only understand it as being just that) has cast a sorrowful shadow upon the Tibetan spiritual tradition. It is appalling that he is endorsed by senior Lamas who give him credibility and thereby trap vulnerable women in a thoroughly dysfunctional and distasteful relationship with him. For his sake as much as anyone’s, people really should speak out before any more harm is done.

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  446. today’s irish indendent – i’m sure the care centre does good work but the elephant in the room is sogyal rinpoche and the behaviour that has been discussed here and elsewhere.

    http://www.independent.ie/health/case-studies/real-life-retreat-into-relaxation-1807335.html?service=Print

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  447. from today’s irish independent, health section – no doubt the care centre does great work but the elephant in the room is the isues discussed above and elsewhere.

    http://www.independent.ie/health/case-studies/real-life-retreat-into-relaxation-1807335.html

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  448. kapasi,

    here’s the link to the part of this website where you can read whole article in PDF. I hadn’t seen this but had misgivings about rigpa in any event.

    Click to access mick-brown1995telegraphmag.pdf

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  449. Brown, Mick. “The Precious One”, Telegraph Magazine, 2 February 1995, pp.20-29.
    Mick Brown1995telegraphmag (C)

    I can’t find this on line-what did Mick Brown infer?

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  450. Ex-Rigpa Dakini, you are so brave, giving your story here with such truth and honesty. I was also involved for a number of years but on a very limited level and didn’t see anything like you describe but pulled back because i had a distinctly uncomfortable feeling about how people were around sogyal rinpoche – anything goes. I remember some discussions around that he needed to have dakinis to strengthen his practice and that this was important, i didnt’ give it much thought at the time but it makes sense now. I’m quite upset to think that senior rigpa students knew and know about this and did nothing, as despite everything else, i’ve found most people who were involved in rigpa when i was, to be very kind and decent people, so this is obviously a huge blindspot.

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  451. I still say Bravo to ‘Sogyal R is amazing’ (though it’s an appalling username), for s/he has at least said something. We’ve not heard from the inner circle before. Their silence in the wake of this furore is deafening, and where are the other ‘dakinis’ who have had sexual relationships saying they weren’t abused and it has enriched their lives and practice?

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  452. HHDL’s words to me on tape in 1997 were
    “I told Sogyal to find himself a lawful wife”. But since then the (in)famous Tibetan pragmatism appears to hold sway. HHDL performed the inauguration ceremony at the Lerab Ling Temple. He allows S a starring role at Kalachakra empowerments and very recently S taught alongside HH during a European tour. He legitimises Sogyal. I have been in email correspondence with one of HH’s senior advisors, Chhime Rigdzin, during the past couple of months — requesting that HH deals effectively with Sogyal once and for all. I get anodyne responses, disingenuous ducking and weaving — and no firm commitment.

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  453. Dear ex Rigpa Dakini,
    Your testimony is enrirely congruent with others I have on record. I would like to communicate with you. I am confident that the journalistic treatment I am currently undertaking,together with a book project, will be effective in taking Sogyal out of circulation as a teacher and denying him access to his sexual hunting grounds. I have up to date material and a stable academic partnership. I promise you 100% confidentiality. If you would like to communicate via Mike Garde at DI, I believe he would be willing to act as an intermediary. If you are willing to join the other people who are pulling together on this, you will be a very useful contributor and will benefit many young, gullible and vulnerable women who will be warned against falling into Sogyal’s grubby clutches.

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  454. Yes. The reality is that, however acceptable it might have been in medieval Tibet (and by that I mean up until very recently), the same type of behaviour is not acceptable here in the West. There is the old argument about even the lama’s seemingly negative actions being beneficial but what about the greater good?

    Even if Sogyal was purifying people’s karma by his behaviour, he stands right at the fore of the public face of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. IT is through him that many first experience the wonderful dharma of the Nyingma tradition. He therefore has a MASSIVE obligation to behave himself. Otherwise, the public image of Buddhism is tarnished and beings are driven away from it.

    If he regulated his behaviour he could benefit more people instead of turning off those he clearly already has. I know that this detracts from the ‘traditional’ way of seeing things but we need to focus on the greater good. If Sogyal can benefit this many beings despite his behaviour, how many more would he benefit if he stopped behaving like a silly teenager?

    I heard recently that the Dalai Lama told him to settle down and find himself a good woman. Seems the Precious One knows better.

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  455. Dear “Sogyal Rinpoche is Amazing,”

    I really don’t think that any of these “internet rumors and uncorroborated accusations” would exist if Sogyal Rinpoche wasn’t a compulsive seducer of women. If you have been around Rigpa for 25 years, you ought to know that. If you didn’t – well you know now from the testimony that is on this website from the former centre director, and from the quotes from women in the articles in the Guardian and Telegraph. Whether or not you think that this is a problem – that is a different question. But let’s not deny the truth of at least what used to be the case.

    I haven’t been around Rigpa for more than a decade. But if I sit here and try to count from memory, I can come up with the names of more than 15 female students (including myself) that I knew who were sleeping with Sogyal or had in the past. Those are names that I am confident about – I could speculate about another dozen. And I wasn’t around Rigpa really all that long. If you have been around 25 years you probably know a few yourself. Maybe the women that travel with Sogyal and stay in your house for instance?

    Sogyal seduced women after their first teaching, at their first retreat, when they were young, and when they were in distress. He pressured them to remain in relationships with him with divinations and with promises of marriage among other means. I can testify first or second hand to these things, the piecing together of which led me to eventually believe that Sogyal was abusing his power over me. The longer I was around, the more I learned about the suffering this was causing – not only for unhappy women like myself, but for husbands, boyfriends and families. All the senior students were aware of this, to some degree or another. That this suffering has come back to haunt Sogyal and Rigpa shouldn’t be surprising to you – it is after all karma.

    I had hoped that after the lawsuit that Sogyal would change his behavior – at the very least limit himself to a small group of women. Perhaps he has – but it doesn’t sound like it from the renewal of interest in these matters. Most importantly, if Sogyal had ever publicly admitted that he had made mistakes and agreed to change his behavior perhaps then the lawsuit and articles and testimonies could have be buried. But they are resurfacing either because his behavior is continuing, or because the truth was never adequately reckoned with.

    Robert Thurman and many others don’t think that its a problem for a teacher to sleep with dozens of their students. This is one of the things (other than SR’s specific actions) that the lawsuit was about, as you pointed out. And maybe it doesn’t bother you either. But some think that this is inappropriate behavior for a spiritual leader. If you are interested, the next time Sogyal stays at your house, ask him how many of his students he has had sex with. It might be good information for you to know. And maybe for others too.

    Yours,

    Ex-Rigpa “Dakini”

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  456. And remember, the thirty people M Finnigan refers to are those who have come forward to her. How many more are there out there who ‘just put it down to experience’? Sorry, Kapasi and SR is Amazing-all is far from well in the ivory tower

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  457. Bravo Madhymika..readers here will get an accurate overall perspective from the combination of your contribution and mine.

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  458. Er no Kapasi — this is typical Rigpa spin. They are more concerned with image than substance. It is very sophisticated…and the people who present it are very well trained. This item appears to be a classic example of damage limitation. Stuffed with innuendo and totally lacking in factual corroboration. When I write about the material I have on file, here and on other sites, I am extremely careful not to give too much away. I repeat — there are at least 30 people acttively supporting moves to take Sogyal out of circulation as a teacher. These include former members of his harem, former senior members of Rigpa, former attendants, academics, Buddhist teachers and ordinary folk who were seduced into Rigpa by the sophisticated spin, only to find that it is run as a coersive cult, designed to extract maximum cash flow and ineffective in the transmission of the fine art of Buddhist contemplative practice. I will say on record that the first person to alert me to Sogyal’s shortcomings as a lama was a pioneering English academic who went to India in the mid 1950s to look for Dzogchen texts. He speaks and writes fluent Tibetan, knew all the late great lamas mentioned in the apologist text above and was totally dismissive of Sogyal’s qualifications to teach. I am not going to give his name here, but anyone who was around Sogyal during his early days in London will recognise this person from my description. Finally, the author of the above text exposes him/herself to ridicule by denying that the late Dudjom Rinpoche requested Sogyal to give up teaching for a while and return to India to *ripen his practice*. Everyone involved in Orgyen Choling when it was based at Princess Road knows that this happened. Ask Patrick Gaffney. Ask Dominique Side. If they deny it, they lie.

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  459. Dear ‘Sogyal Rinpoche is amazing’
    Your glowing testimonial is clear evidence of a wonderful faith that any Tibetan would be proud of. However, unlike the Tibetans,it demonstrates a fault that many in the West fall vicitim to; the inability to see that things are not all black and white. Amongst Tibetans, there was a pragmatism that recognised that lamas were not perfect but, if they had sufficient qualities and focused on these while seeing the guru as buddha, then benefits would ensue. In other words, they knew that even though all was far from perfect, if one viewed it as so, it would bring spiritual progress.

    It is certainly the case that Sogyal’s words and actions have benefitted many: many have come to the Dharma through Rigpa-some have stayed, others moved on, and the Tibetan Book of L & D (author?) has certainly given many a glimpse of truth.

    However, there are other asects of Sogyal’s life that make very uncomfortable reading.The legal case, which was settled out of court (I personally would have fought it if I was telling the truth) was only the tip of the iceberg. There have been numerous, mutiple allegations. Moreover, too many in the buddhist community have first hand experience or the testimony of their dharma brothers and sisters for this to be all smoke and no fire. I personally introduced a close friend to Sogyal in the 80s, only to see the latter seduce my his partner for the sake of a quickie. Willing or not, this is not cricket.Bearing in mind that the Dalai Lama himself has said we should respect the social mores of the land in which we dwell, Tibetan spiritual teachers in the West have a responsibilty to respect the relationships between their disciples and not to do this.

    Moreover, we know that the Dalai Lama’s pronouncements on outing abusive teachers to the press were inspired, at least in part, by Sogyal’s antics. So, the Dalai Lama, one of your ‘referees’ has made his stance clear on this issue.

    Amongst the other Tibetan lamas you mention, some were relatives, others life long friends of Sogyal’s wealthy and influential family. Blood, as they say is thicker than water. However,being wily Tibetans, they were perhaps also being pragmatic. As I say, Sogyal has indeed been influential in bringing many to the Dharma and building up a substantial ‘pot of gold’ for Tibetan Buddhism (amongst other things). Bearing in mind that it was not unacceptable for lay lamas (no pun intended) to engage in sexual acts in Tibet, being pragmatic, these lamas would surely maintain an association with Sogyal for the benefit of his disciples; they would not abandon him out of their willingness to show love for ALL others despite their faults.

    But Sogyal it would seem, like so many Tibetan teachers coming to the sweet shop of the West, has been unable to control his lesser side of addiction to sensual pleasures. This lack of self control, combined with the unbelievable gullibilty of Westerners when it comes to all things spiritual has led to the situation we find ourselves in today.

    I myself find solace in Sogyal’s words; they are echoes of a not too distant past that remind me to constantly touch upon that part of me which lies within and without us all. However, when it comes to his actions, I cannot agree with you that he is a wonderful person. A lot of pain has resulted from those activities emanatiing from his darker side and it is only right that he be made aware that he has a responsibilty to behave more appropriately if he is to continue to receive the respect that is lavished upon him.

    Guru Rinpoche said, ‘Though my view is like the sky, my actions are like barley grains’ While I am sure Sogyal Rinpoche is aware of that very same sky (as are many of us), experience tells us that there is clearly still work to be done with regard to becoming meticulous about the cause and effect of actions, if not for himself, for the sake of others.

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  460. Bravo! At last…thanks for that.

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  461. I too am very concerned about abuse and am glad that there are more and more people in the world willing to speak out against violence directed against women or anyone else for that matter. I also understand the absolute need to make sure that victims of any abuse have a safe environment to heal and support to confront their attacker.

    However, we also have to be very careful not to go so far in the other extreme that we tear down good people through anonymous witch hunts.

    While I am not an employee of Rigpa or have any kind of official status within the organization, I have known Sogyal Rinpoche for more than 25 years. On occasion I have travelled with him, he has frequently stayed in my home and to this day I consider him one of the most compassionate, wise and amazing buddhist masters I have ever met. I have had the unbelievable good fortune to have studied with many of the greatest masters including masters such as Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabjé Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and of course His Holiness the Dalai Lama. All of them spoke very highly of Sogyal Rinpoche and encouraged me to study with him. In all the time I have known him I have never seen him do anything to anyone for vulgar, selfish gain. However, I have seen him perform inspiring, selfless acts of kindness and charity helping people and showing them how to live better, healthier and more productive lives.

    When I read many of the postings on this website, I hear lots of claims of “corroborated evidence” against Sogyal Rinpoche but no actual evidence.

    The mere existence of the lawsuit seems to convince many people that there is evil afoot. Are we really so readily willing to throw away the principal of presumed innocence until proven guilty? As many of us who were there at the time know, that lawsuit was about something other than Rinpoche’s actions. And a careful reading of Mick Brown’s article, posted on this site, pretty much makes that point. Actually the fact that the widely respected Robert Thurman would speak so plainly about it is remarkable because he risked his reputation and good relations with many that he was implicitly criticizing. In any case, lawsuits get filed in the US all the time on very flimsy evidence. That it was settled out of court means only that, you can’t draw any conclusion based on the fact that it was settled about the merits of the case. You can’t even infer whether there was any cash payment or if there was which party paid (the possibility of a strong counter suit can lead to the alleged victim to pay the alleged attacker). Furthermore it is fairly standard procedure in the US, as part of a settlement, that neither side can discuss it. So Rigpa’s silence is merely due to a legally binding agreement it was a party to.

    I am very troubled by the number of unsubstantiated claims made against this truly remarkable individual. In addition to the hearsay evidence about abuse, you even have people making completely ludicrous assertions that Sogyal Rinpoche didn’t write the book. I personally witnessed Rinpoche writing the book.

    You have some silly stuff about Sogyal Rinpoche’s teacher Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche allegedly “suggesting he give up teaching for a while and return to India to ‘ripen his practice’.”

    Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche would never make public his personal practice advice to any of his students let alone one of his close Tulku disciples like Sogyal Rinpoche. It isn’t even a cultural probability. This story is just someone’s fabricated spin. Sogyal Rinpoche remained one of Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche’s close disciples and continued to serve him even after Rigpa was established. To this day Rinpoche receives frequent counsel from Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche’s Sangyum (wife) and enjoys close relations with other members of the family. They would laugh if they heard this ridiculous claim.

    Since 1994 a one or two dodgy people have made it a kind of crusade to bad mouth Sogyal Rinpoche on the internet. Yet despite 15 years of digging we still have the same tired accusations of mountains of unreleased “corroborated evidence.” Even today’s piece of investigative journalism, the article published in the Times, could only in the end say that there was a lawsuit and some uncorroborated claims on the internet. Is this really good enough evidence to form a virtual, cyber lynch mob?

    I am sure that the founders of this website have really good intentions, and even though I disagree with this particular case, I support the general efforts and intentions of Dialog Ireland. But I must say I am very troubled by the careless flogging of rumor, innuendo and anonymous, hearsay accusations. While of course it conforms to the standards of much of the internet, we should all strive to do better than that. I do hope the good people who run this site will reconsider their actions.

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  462. p.s. sorry the first line above is a quote-haven’t got the hang of this yet!

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  463. The latter witnessed abuse but was not herself abused. So — courage is around, albeit in small increments.

    And therein is the problem, I think. Witnesses. I am sure many Rigpa students would be appalled and horrified if they saw anything, but as with most sexual abuse or even domestic abuse, it is not something that is witnessed. Not only that, but the women involved may well think as those subjected to domestic abuse think….that they somehow deserved it. And given that if this is happening within a buddhist community, then even more so…plus the shame. I think shame is a big silencer and also if women have talked, no doubt they did so, confidentially, so those who heard tales, will respect that. It is a very great shame that this is happening, and I suppose the denial of it, will be even greater, due to the shame it brings to the teacher, the women, buddhism and the buddhist teachers and other eminent people who have been courted. It’s not a happy picture, all in all and it is a shame Rigpa doesn’t clean up it’s act, or have the courage to talk to their teacher about it.

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  464. Indeed it is useful that the Irish people are better informed about Sogyal but I;’m sure as a sophisticated obeserver you are aware that there is no such thing as black and white in this relative world of ours — only infinite shades of grey. — for example many people are convinced about Sogyal’s qualities as a compassionate being. One of Rigpa’s preoccupations is pandering to his massive self-importance by courting influential public figures, so that they enhance his image and give him opportunities to bask in reflected glory. HHDL plays into this on a regular basis. Rigpa managed to lure Carla Bruni Sarkozy into attending the inauguration of the Lerab Ling temple. This grandiose project cost 10 million Euros and is out of all proportion to the needs of the Lerab Ling meditators and the local community. Mary McAleese is not alone in falling for Rigpa’s PR manipulations.

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  465. I would’ve expected your first line to come from Rigpa themselves-With enemies like that, who needs friends?
    Please bear in mind just because news is ‘old’, it does not make it untrue or less relevant. The Irish president has a moral duty to ensure that those she endorses with her presence are, like herself, worthy of respect. In allowing herself to become embroiled in Sogyal’s work she has given a glowing testimonial to a man who, though his work is important, is a very nasty piece of work as a human being. By association, she contributes to the growth of his empire and bank account. She simultaneously damages herself, Buddhism, and Sogyal’s future uninformed followers. The Times and DI have therefore performed an important task in informing the Irish people of this man’s past. With knowledge, comes power, the power to discern who and what are worthy of devotion and respect and who are not.
    I notice in some of your other posts that you have good things to say about the NKT and Sangharakshita(FWBO)-
    perhaps people should read the links on the DI site relating to the New Kadampa and the Dublin Buddhist centre (FWBO) and decide for themselves. Devil worship and sex abuse never ranked high on my list of qualities worthy of respect

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  466. The Times item is a rehash of material and allegations from 1994. It contains no new information or updated perspectives. It is a hack job cobbled together in a hurry. Newspapers are so undermanned/womanned these days they don’t have time or resources to conduct in depth investigations. This is the domain of patient freelances who sometimes spend years assembling evidence — only to be met with indifference when they take their story to the mainstream media. But we soldier on.
    Re women who speak about sexual abuse. One young woman who was a member of Sogyal’s harem for several years has spoken to me in detail and on the record. Confidentiality is assured and if/when fresh material is published, she will choose a pseudonym. Her story is corroborated by another woman who was working as a cook for Sogyal when he was travelling. The latter witnessed abuse but was not herself abused. So — courage is around, albeit in small increments. It would be very helpful if one or two more women were willing to break the wall of silence for the sake of others who will undoubtedly suffer in the future if this odious little man is not dealt with effectively

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  467. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article6638586.ece
    SHOCK AS LAMA SOGYALS PAST REVEALED

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  468. >I bet if a journalist put a contact address here, he/she wouldn’t get a single call….and not because Sogyal is clean but because people cant see beyond the end of their own self obsessed litte fantasy noses. WHAT ABOUT TODAYS VICTIMS?if not now, when?

    Anon, I don’t think it is as simple as that. There are many things to be considered for women who have been abused in talking to the Press, and rightly so. It is near impossible to tell your story without giving your name, and so the woman who speaks out is making herself even more vulnerable by doing so. It is she, who will feel the full force, of the divided opinion on this matter . It is she who will be held up to the light and seen if she is honest or if she is just a woman who was scorned by a man. Within society there is a long legacy, whereby it is the woman’s integrity that is questioned when things go wrong between a woman and a man., as men have no doubt had the first and last word on the matter.
    Congreve said,
    “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

    The odds are weighed against her. It is a very strong woman, or group of women, who will lay their evidence on the table.

    One thing I will say, is this. Why is it if Sogyal Rinpoche has equanimity and love for all, does he just choose the pretty young women to have sexual relationships with. Why not the ugly ones too? Thing is a lot of the older, less attractive women probably have a touch of jealousy about the younger, prettier ones getting the attention, so if it goes wrong for them, like who cares?

    I would urge any young woman with a story to tell to ensure you have a first class support system behind you, and far better if it is a group of women who can speak out -as that-as a group. It is a hard call to make, for you may well be vilified, and then there’s all the stuff re samaya. Also check out the motivation of the people you talk to. I think too if you do speak out, there will be a lot of support for you. The speculation within the sangha and the doubts are not signs of a healthy community, and that is why it is stamped out and those with doubts about it leave.

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  469. What you say is true – people have gone through dark tunnels, no-one can know the impact and hurt that the counselling brings up after leaving something like Rigpa. I hope it wll come to light what is happending, so that many more people don’t have to suffer.

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  470. Mike Garde Director of Dialogue Ireland attended a seminar of INFORM attached to the LSE in London at which Mary Finnegan spoke in May 1997. We have been aware since then about the reports of abuse and heard a French woman detail her experience of systematic abuse of all kinds. We got the help of a renowned Buddhist scholar to draw up the report featured on our web site. I can tell you that I have been contacted by a journalist who works for a major Sunday Newspaper who I have worked with for over 10 years in regard to issues associated with Tony Quinn and the Pilgrim House and know he will not be producing a tabloid version of this issue. I would suggest that in this regard it is better to have someone who is not emotionally involved writing this type of article. I can guarantee absolute confidentiality if any of you would contact me and I will pass on your details and the terms and conditions you are willing to work with. I know that this is not an easy decision to make . I would highly recommend if you have not gone through extensive counselling not to proceed towards going public. Many of you though seem to have become survivors rather than victims and seem ready but have not found a listening ear. We have no wish to restimulate you, but unless witnesses come through all these blogs
    are just a minor irritant and the abuse will go on. No one should pressure another to give witness but I can tell you we have received a number of clear testimonies from people who wish to put the abuse behind them and move on. Some might feel this selfish, but it only the person who has gone through this dark tunnel who knows where they are going who can decide. However, if you would like to make a difference then contact me and I will pass on your details.


    Regards
    MIKE GARDE
    DIRECTOR

    DIALOGUE IRELAND TRUST
    Phone: 353 -1- 8309384 or mobile 353 – 87 2396229 7/8 Lr Abbey St; Dublin 1
    Web site http://www.dialogueireland.org
    Web site http://www.dialogueireland.wordpress.com

    Charity number: CHY 14004
    IRELAND and IRISH representative on the General Assembly of the European Federation
    of Centres for Research and Information on Sects (FECRIS). http://www.fecris.org

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  471. Unless mary Finnegan et al pull their fingers out and start talking soon, instead of talking about talking, more people will fall prey to this obnoxious little man. The blood will be evenly distributed on the hands of Sogyal and those who remain silent. If the abused are so averse to the abuse, then stand up and prevent it from continuing. I bet if a journalist put a contact address here, he/she wouldn’t get a single call….and not because Sogyal is clean but because people cant see beyond the end of their own self obsessed litte fantasy noses. WHAT ABOUT TODAYS VICTIMS?if not now, when?

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  472. Ellen, Samatha, Judith, Anna..
    Google me please. it is Mary Finnigan –not with an e in the middle. My first ex husband was Conemara Irish. You will find my web site. From this you will find my email address. Please get in touch. I would very much like to talk to you. FYI — this is the first time people disenchanted with Rigpa have spoken out on the internet in English….although there has been outspoken comment on French blogs — notably
    http://troismondes.canalblog.com/archives/2007/10/07/6443357.html
    and a continuation at
    http://troismondes.canalblog.com/archives/2009/01/08/11963472.html

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  473. I went to newspapers a number of times, both in the locality and also to national newspapers and they just weren’t interested in looking into this any further and I as one person can only do so much, as I needed some time after leaving rigpa to get myself back together. Honestly, the national journalists are just too taken with the whole idea of sogyal rinpoche and beara and are totally unquestioning. the local journalists were interested as local papers just don’t seem to do that type of journalism anymore. I think Mary Finnegan has done great work and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of her efforts. I know of two other people who have tried to speak to media but met total indifference and i think part of this is due to the fact that rigpa have a very deliberate policy of cultivating useful contacts in the media and public eye. I think we also need to be aware of the fact that people who truly suffered through involvement with Rigpa will not speak about it and it’s not because they’re selfish or full of hot air, it’s just too difficult. It’s so hard to explain, how much of this stuff gets into your head and makes you doubt your own judgement and your own self of sense, add sexual and physical abuse into the mix and you have a situation from which most people won’t emerge immediately as confident spokespeople about their experience. It’s also been my own experience that a lot of people who’ve come to buddhism through rigpa are looking for healing and peace already from other issues and to have that search become a further source of suffering is quite the experience. The media need to react on this too and not be just willing to publish anything they receive from rigpa and the people in beara.

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  474. All this is very well, but if no one is willing to stand up and be counted, name names in newspapers as the Dalai Lama advised, the little fat man will continue abusing people. Too many are willing to talk off record but not go on record, or alternatively, too interested in promoting their own personal crusades against Sogyal rather than being part of someone else’s. While they do this, the abuse continues. If any were still Buddhists then perhaps they might think about putting the interests of others first (now theres a new idea!) and speak to the press. If not, this is all just so much hot air as far as the media and the establishment are concerned. By your silence, you contribute

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  475. I can’t believe it’s being going on this long. I joined Rigpa almost twelve years ago and became uncomfortable with the feeling of unquestioning, blind faith in sogyal rinpoche that was demanded. rumours abounded within rigpa about the issues discussed in this thread and elsewhere but when will they reach conclusion. I feel such confusion and pain for the time and effort i have wasted. I feel such pity for those who continue to work in rigpa to work and devote themselves in a very admirable way to an organisation, which is facing such difficulties if the reality of rinpoche and the dynamic he creates its to be acknowledged. apologies for my english, it is not my first language. I am so disenchanted and confused with rigpa and sogyal rinpoche.

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  476. did sogyal write the presidents speech for her or did she read the book of living and lying on the way down?

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  477. Hi all..
    First off — a correction. Not STD — STI…same problem, different acronym. We used to call it venereal Disease. Secondly something IS being done about Sogyal. On the internet, where discussions like this one are happening on many blogs and web sites. Academically — Rigpa is being used as an example of an abusive cult by at least one PhD student who is conducting in depth research. Journalistically by me — I am writing a detailed feature intended for publication in France and English language media. I have bee collecting material about Sogyal’s hideous behaviour since 1994. I have huge dossier of corroborated evidence. Finally, Mary McAleese joins Carla Bruni Sarkozy for the accolade of the most gullible, most naive female political figures in the world. A search of YouTube will reveal that Carla was the guest of honour at the opening of Sogyal’s most recent grandiose ego trip — the temple at the Rigpa centre Lerab Ling in France. The building projects, the retreats, the care centres will be never ending until Sogyal is taken out of circulation. The procession of deeply sad, emotionally damaged young women who emerge from his sexual clutches will continue until he is denied access to his hunting grounds. The Dalai Lama and most other senior TB lamas have known about Sogyal for many years. They are chiefly to blame for his ongoing abuses. Why do they turn a blind eye? The answer is glaringly obvious. Sogyal is a multi millionaire from sales of the TBOLD (which he did not write), He BUYS his way into favour. The TB augean stables are long overdue for a clean out.

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  478. It seems so simple – why don’t people speak about their problems with Rigpa ? People just leave and I understand if they’re feeling hurt or abused, they just want to heal and get on with their lives but it seems to me like this has been on for far too long. I was involved for about five years and at first was very naive and very happy but then something happened, maybe i got less naive but i started to notice that people were behaving in a very unhealthy way. Totally unquestioning and disparaging of those that did. There was always lots of pretty young girls around, for some reason there always seems to be with Buddhism but I had no direct experience of any abuse but heard lots of stories and seen enough people behaving in a totally slavish and zombie like way to convince me that this wasn’t good. I lived in Australia for a while and encountered a few Buddhist teachers there who I felt were quite decent and authenthic but in the later stage of my involvement with Rigpa, there was just too much glitz and glamour about Sogyal Rinpoche for my liking. There always seems to be another project to paid for, whether it’s archiving and recording all of Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings, the spiritual care centre – which is probably good in itself but a trojan horse for Sogyal Rinpoche, a three year retreat – the list seems to be endless. i saw people living very simple lives with very little money giving as much as they could to these projects and it made me feel very uncomfortable, as I’m sure Sogyal Rinpoche has made some money from the Tibetan Book of Living & Dying. I understand that Tibetan Buddhist Temple is now to be built on the grounds of Dzogchen Beara and this will involve more fundraising and an enhanced presence for Sogyal Rinpoche. The video of the irish President Mary McAleese which can be viewed at the link below speaks volumes about how accepted Sogyal Rinpoche and Rigpa have become. As i thought about this earlier this week, it struck me as ironic that President McAleese performed an extraordinary act this week inviting survivors of clerical child abuse to the aras. In this symbolic act of healing, acceptance and reconciliation, she did the state a great service. Would she also be willing in years to come to invite survivors of sexual, emotional and physical abuse in Rigpa at the hands of Sogyal Rinpoche to the aras ?? Might I suggest she do it sooner rather than later and as soon as possible, distance herself from the publicity she has become associated with through Rigpa and the care centre. I am at a loss to express how deeply saddened I at this situation continuning as it does a great disservice to really authentic and properly run buddhist groups in Ireland such as Jampa Ling in Cavan or Kilmainham Well House in Dublin, both of which I have visited and are exemplary places for anyone wanting to see how things can be done in a true and open way.

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  479. People just assume cause it’s buddhism it’s okay and will be okay but it’s like any other religion, which involves power structures, fiduciary duty etc, it is open to abuse and from what i’ve seen and heard I would have serious doubts about the creditbility of Rigpa. No doubt many of the individuals are very kind well-meaning people searching for something but along the way, they have become involved in an organisation, which I believe is seriously dysfunctional by any reasonable measure. People work very long hours on all sorts of Rigpa projects for minimum wage or many cases no payment and while such selflessness may be laudable, it is abused I believe. The more worrying thing, the elephant in the room is the Guru or God-Like way that Rigpa students are encouraged to view Sogyal Rinpoche, so even if he seems to be acting in a mean or crazy way, it’s all good cause he’s working with the student’s ego, teaching them a lesson they need to learn and questioning this method only exposes one’s own ego and lack of belief don’t you know. I know from some travel that Buddhism is a system which requires great faith in the system and the teacher and extraordinary teachers in the past like Dudjom Rinpoche or Dilgo Khenytse Rinpoche were wonderful examples of how to teach and behave. Sogyal Rinpoche is not, there are several well justified stories of people who have abused emotionally, physically and sexually in Rigpa by him and what’s even worse is that senior Rigpa students have built a wall of blind belief and silence around him and this issue. When will this issue finally be brought to a head, I am so angry not just at the actual abuse and its awful impact on people but the shame his work has brought to Buddhism as an ethical system. Truly, this issue has to reach a crescendo soon so that more people will not be sucked into this dysfunctional organisation.

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  480. Hi Ellen,
    Many hundreds if not 1,000s of people have “become uncomfortable with issues” and left Rigpa since it first started as Orgyen Choling in London in 1973. What amazes me is that the odious Sogyal appears to be able to renew his stock. I use this expression to point up the fact that Sogyal and his cronies regard female newbies as fair game — new arrivals in in a sexual hunting ground. Why do these (mostly) young people walk into this abusive cult without Googling Sogyal before they dive in? What is it that acts as a magnet to people who abandon their common sense in favour of wasting their time on useless practices that take them precisely nowhere in terms of genuine esoteric experience? And what does a naive, star-struck young woman get from a private *teaching* from the fat, self-indulgent, evil-tempered little chap? A 3 minute s–g and an STD.

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  481. I am totally at a loss to understand how this is allowed to continue, people seem to become uncomfortable with Rigpa and the issues outlined here and elsewhere but just move on and Sogyal Rinpoche continues to grow in stature and popularity. The Irish Times piece is just one in a long line of unquestioning PR pieces produced about RIgpa, I think this is because i understand from my limited experience they focus in Rigpa on sourcing media contacts, influential contacts in hospice care etc to give credibility and profile to their message. In my two years of involvement, I grew increasingly uncomfortable with a lot of issues and moved on, others are not so lucky it seems.

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  482. I left an ascerbic comment on this naive piece on the Irish Times web site, directed at the writer. The item appears to be a regurgitation of unedited and unchcecked Rigpa PR marterial. I would have thought The Irish Times would have more stringent editorial policy.

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